To earn the designation, Missouri State will need to replace its entire piano inventory with Steinway & Sons pianos.
MSU’s first new Steinway grand on its way
Music students’ lesson fees have already purchased 10 Steinway-built Boston upright pianos and one Boston 7-foot grand. The University will soon purchase its first new Steinway grand piano due to a recent significant gift by Sam Hamra, chairman of Hamra Enterprises.
“Mr. Hamra’s generosity will provide the industry standard in grand pianos for not just our piano majors to perform on,” said Dr. Julie Combs, head of the music department. “Every music student who performs a junior degree recital or takes part in a master class will also be accompanied by this instrument.”
The grand piano will be placed in the recital/lecture room at Ellis Hall —soon undergoing renovation — and the room will be named for his wife, June Hamra, who was a member of the Board of Regents from 1979-85 and actively involved in the arts community.
Learning on the gold standard
Combs said becoming an All-Steinway School demonstrates MSU’s dedication to making certain students have the opportunity to learn on the gold standard of instruments. This will help in recruiting efforts, as well.
“Great teachers, facilities, and equipment are major factors in students choosing a music school,” she said. “We have the great teachers; our facilities are going to be renovated, and we are aiming to replace our piano inventory. These steps will help with our recruiting and retention and move the MSU music department to a new and higher level.”