The University of Tennessee School of Music will have a new home in the fall of 2013: the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center.
It will be filled with the sound of music from Steinway pianos.
"Most concert artists prefer to perform on a Steinway if they are given a choice because of its reliability, its beauty of sound, and its comfortability when one is playing it," UT Professor of Piano David Northington said.
UT Master's student Rachel Dennis agrees with her professor and makes a point to seek out Steinway pianos.
"They're definitely the best pianos. I can say for the students in the practice rooms we have now we'll even fight over the Steinways that we have. Everybody wants to play on it and you can tell a difference between other pianos," Dennis said.
David Northington gestured to side-by-side pianos. "We have two terrific Steinways, 7 foot instruments, in this room as we do in our piano studios here at the University."
UT plans to become an "All-Steinway School."
The university will raise more than $3,500,000 to buy more than 60 Steinways: upright pianos, concert pianos, and four Steinway Hamburg grand pianos.
"We are about to enter an age of tremendous excitement and energy, new energy, in the School of Music," Northington said.
Rachel Dennis will earn her master's degree before the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center is complete and the All-Steinway School Initiative is realized.
However she realizes the value for recruiting.
"Seeing all Steinways would be be very impressive as an incoming student," Dennis said.
Northington said, "We would be very grateful to any of you who would like to call in and make a contribution to this initiative."
UT will actually order the most expensive pianos this week to beat a July 1st price increase as it works to become an All-Steinway School, a priceless distinction.
To find out more about supporting UT's All-Steinway School Initiative, call the Office of Development for the College of Arts and Sciences at 865-974-2365.