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LPC recently joined the prestigious ranks of the All-Steinway Schools cohort with the purchase of a new Steinway & Sons Model B Spirio r Grand Piano. 

LPC is now one among approximately 230 schools in the world, and the first California community college to have reached the designation of an All-Steinway School. The prestigious title is marked by the ownership of primarily Steinway & Sons pianos throughout the institution. 

To celebrate this achievement, LPC held an All-Steinway School Gala Fundraiser on Sept. 17 in LPC’s Barbara Mertes Center. The Gala was also held with the purpose of raising funds for the maintenance of the pianos and the provision of Steinway Artist Masterclasses for LPC music students. The event included live performances, a silent auction and a remote performance by Grammy Award winning Steinway artist, Bill Charlap. 

The live performances showcased recitals by LPC music, dance and theater students, as well as faculty and alumni. 

The investment in these instruments marks a commitment to excellence at LPC. Steinway pianos are recognized for their handcrafted nature, elite sound and technologically advanced features. The Model B Spirio r Grand Piano, for instance, has video and recording capabilities included in its Spiriocast system, which allows for the broadcasting of live, remote performances from one Steinway piano to another 

Jeremiah Trujillo, an accompanist at LPC, describes his experience playing the new Steinway & Sons Model B Spirio r Grand Piano, “This piano feels really nice. The action is very even and the sound is gentle, and so I definitely like playing on it more than on my home piano.” 

The process of achieving All-Steinway status has been in the works for seven years, ever since Daniel Marschak, LPC Music Department Coordinator, first began working in 2015.

From filling out applications for California state grants to purchase the instruments, to viewing and playing them in person in order to choose the perfect Steinway, the process has been long but rewarding. 

“They’re not factory-produced, so every Steinway is going to be a little different. So that’s kind of why you have a selection process where you actually play it versus just ordering it, and it shows up,” Marschak said.

The addition of Steinways gives students the opportunity to practice on the same high quality instruments that will be used at auditions and on stages at other institutions and concert halls.

 “They’re what professionals perform on. So we’re preparing our students to perform in, you know, in a real-life situation, like if you go to Carnegie Hall, there will be a Steinway there. If you go to the Bankhead, there will be a Steinway,”Marschak said.

Dr. Dyrell Foster, LPC President, describes the achievement of earning the All-Steinway designation as a group effort. “When I came on board about two and a half years ago, I knew that this was a vision and goal of the institution and the challenge is that we were not there yet.”

“We needed to purchase an additional piano and so our foundation and our music faculty and the department really launched a campaign. Because of the community’s support, we were able to raise enough funds to purchase this final piano to make us an All-Steinway school,” Foster said.

In discussing the future of LPC’s music program and the significance of the All-Steinway designation, Foster states, “We’re going to wear it as a badge of honor for the institution.”

“We’re going to be very proud about that, we’re going to really get it out in the community so our community is aware that we have this designation. My hope is that it is going to allow us to recruit more students who are interested in music and who really want to work with these pianos and our faculty, who are amazing.”

Sagurika Ujjual is an arts and entertainment editor for The Express. Follow her @SagurikaU.

Image courtesy of Aaron Zepeda.


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