WBU Professor Inducted into National Hall of Fame

PLAINVIEW – Dr. Richard Fountain, professor of piano and associate dean of the School of Creative Arts at Wayland Baptist University has been inducted in the Steinway and Sons Teacher Hall of Fame. The honor recognizes piano teachers for their commitment and passion to piano education.

Fountain was recently invited to New York City by the President of Steinway and Sons for the induction and recognition of his dedication as an educator. Fountain has been instrumental in working with Steinway on the company’s Spirio project. Through Spirio, which is a technologically advanced piano that allows for real-time music education to students located throughout the world, Fountain will work to teach students and train other piano educators and professionals in the art of piano performance.

Dr. Ann Stutes, dean of the School of Creative Arts, said this honor goes beyond recognition of Fountain’s skill as an artist and performer.

“Dr. Fountain has received this honor because of his excellence in education,” she said. “He is second to none in terms of being a collegiate pianist and concert artist, but he received this honor from Steinway and Sons because he is a teacher.”

Along with his work with Steinway and the Spirio project, Fountain and fellow piano professor Dr. Kennith Freeman have developed on online piano pedagogy certification program. This certification is aimed at providing piano teachers with additional skills and education to become more effective and efficient in teaching their students.

Through the online certification program and Spirio projects, Wayland has become a recognized leader in distance piano education.

“We are on the cutting edge of what it means to be educators of piano in the 21st century and it’s because of Dr. Fountain and Dr. Freeman,” Stutes said.

Wayland President Dr. Bobby Hall was on hand to officially present Dr. Fountain with a certificate recognizing him as a member of the Steinway Teacher Hall of Fame. He said that while the university will claim a “small piece of this,” the honor is well-deserved for a dedicated faculty member.

“Dr. Fountain represents the best of this university,” Hall said. “I’ve been here a long time and I’ve seen a lot of outstanding faculty, people who have invested their lives in our students, and I will say that I’ve never seen anyone do it any better.”

Fountain has been with Wayland since 2008 and is currently President-Elect of the Texas Music Teachers Association, a group of 2,000 Texas piano educators who work collaboratively with the Music Teachers National Association. He is the principal keyboard for the Lincoln, Neb., Symphony Orchestra and the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, and is a member of the Fulbright Specialist Roster for 2021-2025. Fountain recorded a piano music album, “American Ivory,” in 2012 on the Steinway and Sons grand piano that is used for Wayland performances. He also played a key role in selecting the Steinway piano for the Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences in Lubbock.