Steinway piano arrival at Brenau University.
Ben Leaptrott and Ike VanMeter, of Steinway Piano Galleries in Alpharetta, Ga., watch the unloading of Brenau's new nine foot Steinway Model D Concert Grand Tuesday, Dec. 4. (Nick Dentamaro/Brenau University)

First All-Steinway Initiative Piano Arrives at Brenau

Dec 5, 2012
Brenau Staff

Number 481, a handmade Steinway & Son’s Model D Concert Grand piano, arrived at Brenau University Dec. 4 – the first in a new collection that will help Brenau gain the prestigious distinction as an “All-Steinway School.”

The concert grand, destined for use in historic Pearce Auditorium, is the first acquisition in the $1.5 million campaign to acquire about 30 Steinway-branded instruments for all of Brenau’s Gainesville rehearsal and performance venues. It is also the most expensive piece, representing about more than 10 percent of the cost of all the pianos Brenau ultimately will acquire. The fundraising campaign still is underway, including initiatives to pay for the concert grand.

“It’s a little like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Music Department Chair Barbara Steinhaus, who was on hand for the piano’s arrival. “The goal that seemed a bit daunting now seems much closer with the initial piano in place.”

The instrument came out of the trailer in pieces. First the top case, legs and foot pedals were wheeled into Pearce Auditorium. Then came the monstrous sound board. At almost nine feet long and 990 pounds, the Steinway Model D is the largest piano that Steinway & Son’s makes.

Ike VanMeter, director of institutional sales at Steinway Piano Galleries in Alpharetta, Ga., said the Pearce piano is the same model that you would find in major concert venues throughout the world.

Assembling the instrument took about 30 minutes and before the crew could even get the lid in place, music professor Ben Leaptrott almost could not wait to get his fingers on the keyboard. “It’s a beautiful instrument,” Leaptrott said. “This will make performances in Pearce infinitely more enjoyable for the audience as well as the musicians.”