PLAINVIEW – The Wayland Baptist University School of Music moved one step closer to completing its All-Steinway Initiative recently when a generous donation from the Roberta Wright Reeves Trust in Dallas funded Phase III of the four-phase project.
In a letter to the university, Glenna Romans, Trustee of the Trust, expressed her pleasure in being able to complete this portion of the project.
“I am excited and delighted that Mrs. Reeves’ Trust can be a part of such an outstanding effort to bring to Wayland students the opportunity to study and practice on such quality instruments,” Romans said.
The Trust made a donation of $154,000 that will purchase 11 Steinway and Sons, Boston and Essex model pianos for use in faculty studios, classrooms and practice rooms. The pianos are scheduled to be delivered on June 18. The All-Steinway Initiative calls for 98 percent of the pianos on the Wayland campus to be Steinway and Sons, Boston or Essex models.
“We entered into our All-Steinway School Initiative with a vision of excellence,” said Dr. Ann Stutes, Dean of the School of Music. “Today we are one step closer to achieving this distinctive status.”
Wayland Baptist University President Dr. Paul Armes said that the Roberta Wright Reeves Trust has been a longtime supporter of Wayland, contributing generously to scholarships for English majors and minors. This gift just adds to the legacy that Roberta Wright Reeves is leaving at Wayland.
“Many young men and women have been able to attend Wayland because of gifts from the Trust,” Armes said. “The latest gift was a wonderful and unexpected blessing. Wayland will forever be grateful for the generosity of Robert Wright Reeves and the friendship of Glenna and Bill Romans.”
Once the initiative is complete, Wayland will be one of relatively few schools, and the only Baptist school in Texas, to carry the All-Steinway designation. Currently, only six colleges and universities in Texas hold All-Steinway status and only 113 colleges and university worldwide are registered as All-Steinway institutions. The list includes state and private institutions, as well as junior colleges. The entire project at Wayland is estimated to cost $614,000. With the completion of Phase III, only $158,000 remains to complete the initiative.
Nearly half of the remaining cost will be used to purchase a Steinway and Sons grand piano for use in the band hall. Director of Bands Timothy Kelley said the grand piano will be an added benefit to Wayland students and show a true commitment on the part of the university to provide students with the best instruments for their education.
“Currently, our instrumental studios and rehearsal hall are not equipped with acoustic pianos, only electronic keyboards,” Kelley said. “The addition of an acoustic piano would make an immediate impact on the development of our instrumental programs.”
Stutes said all music majors at Wayland are required to play the piano and they will now be able to train on what are arguably the finest instruments in production.
“There is no substitute for providing the finest pianos for our students and faculty,” Stutes said. “Because of the generous gift, we may move into the future with confidence.”
Anyone interested in donating to the project, or in purchasing a piano in honor or memory of a loved one, may contact the School of Music at 806-291-1076, or the Office of Donor Relations at 806-291-3430.