School of Music holds memorial Steinway dedication

May 2, 2013

PLAINVIEW – The Wayland Baptist University School of Music continues to move forward with its All Steinway Initiative and thanks to a special group of donors the school is now one Steinway closer to achieving that goal.

On Sunday, April 28, the School of Music held a special dedication of a Steinway that was purchased in memory of Pat McDaniel. An avid student of the piano, McDaniel passed away after a bout with cancer in 2009 at the age of 61.

The Essex model upright piano will be housed in a practice room, a fitting tribute according to his longtime friend, Terri Jescko.

“As I thought about this, I thought there were two things that I know Pat did almost every day of his life,” she said. “One was to read his Bible. The other was to play the piano. It’s so appropriate for this to be a practice room because he didn’t just play, he practiced.”
Terri explained that McDaniel loved music and loved working with children and youth. She said her husband, Joe Jesko, a Trustee of Wayland, came up with the idea of a memorial piano. Joe and McDaniel grew up together in Clovis, N.M. Other friends of McDaniel’s quickly pitched in to raise the nearly $7,000 needed for the Essex piano.

“When we heard Joe’s idea about the piano, Freda and I just jumped on it,” said Joe Provence, a longtime friend of McDaniel’s.

Joe Jesko said Provence was instrumental in encouraging McDaniel to pursue music. Provence served as the youth director at First Baptist Church in Clovis where McDaniel and Jesko grew up. He said Provence noticed that McDaniel was gifted in drama and music and “took him under his wing where he blossomed.”

Provence, who never had children, said McDaniel was the kind of person he always wanted as a son and losing him was like losing one of his own. He said the memorial piano is a fitting tribute to McDaniel.

“We are so glad that we could be a part of this because it honors somebody who always made you smile,” Provence said.