Westmont Magazine All Steinway All the Time
By buying 20 new Steinway pianos, Westmont has joined a select group: All-Steinway Schools. Only one other four-year liberal arts college in California — Pomona — has achieved this status. An anonymous gift of $350,000 provided the funding.
“This purchase shows how serious we are about the music program at Westmont,” says Michael Shasberger, Adams professor of music and worship. “We’ve made a lifetime investment — we’re committed for the long term. The Westmont music program will never have anything but the finest quality instruments for our students to play.”
Shasberger came to Westmont in September to enhance the college’s music program and increase its impact on the Santa Barbara community. The Santa Barbara Symphony plans to use Westmont’s concert grand piano during its 2006-2007 season.
“My hat is off to Westmont and its visionary leaders and supporters for making this ambitious statement about the vitality of the performing arts in our special community,” says John Robinson, executive director of the Santa Barbara Symphony.
Westmont has also made a $1 million commitment to provide scholarships to music students.
The 20 new Steinways arrived in June, joining the two Steinways already in use on campus.
“For a music student, it’s every bit as important as having a world-class telescope for astronomers,” says Shasberger, referring to Westmont’s new, state-of-the-art telescope expected to arrive in during the summer. “If you have a great instrument to play, you have a chance to achieve excellence.”
On its Web site, Steinway describes All-Steinway Schools as those that “demonstrate a commitment to excellence by providing their students and faculties with the best equipment possible for the study of music.”