Bethel University’s Academic Music Program recently had the opportunity to attain a newly rebuilt Steinway Grand Piano according to Dr. Keith Herris, chair of the program, a piece that will provide music students with greater and more enriched performance opportunities.
“This newly acquired piece,” Herris said, “is providing our students with an exceptional instrument for performances. We’ve had a 9’ Baldwin Concert Grand Piano in Turner Recital Hall, however, it is too large and overpowering for many recital performances in a relatively small space.”
Herris said the Baldwin will continue to work well for choral rehearsals and lessons, but the newly acquired Steinway makes Bethel's music program more competitive with other schools in the region.
“The new piano is a 1961 rebuilt Steinway B. It has a satin ebony finish, new renner action, new Steinway hammers, a new premier soundboard, a new premier pinblock and a Dampp Chaser installed. According to Herris, “Thomas Zasadny of Walker, IA, did a tremendous job rebuilding this particular piano.”
“With the new piano brings a new performance space as well,” Herris said. “We felt strongly that this new piano needed to be housed in an alternative recital space to that of our current Turner Recital Hall. With that in mind, the Bethel Maintenance team went to work creating a larger and more robust stage with hardwood flooring to replace the smaller stage that was part of Odom Lecture Hall. And while Turner Recital Hall has served us well, the setting in Odom Lecture Hall is more formal providing an excellent performance experience for our students and audience members. So now, Odom Hall serves as both a lecture hall and a recital hall.”
According to Herris, the Steinway B is a perfect sized instrument for Odom Hall.
“And this particular instrument has a beautiful tone and plays very well,” he said.
“The Steinway B is a consistent favorite with many professional musicians,” Herris said. “Many small and medium-sized venues continue to utilize Model B Grands as their primary performance pianos. And I feel very confident that our students will be motivated to work even harder to sound great while performing in our new, more formal setting.”