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Grand piano gift launches university’s All-Steinway Campaign

ISSUED: 7 November 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University launched the All-Steinway Campaign with a presentation of its first Steinway B grand piano donated by Shepherd University President Mary J.C. Hendrix and her husband, Charles Craft, October 19, during an event that featured performances by faculty of Shepherd University’s Department of Music. The Frank Center stage was turned into a salon club setting with guests enjoying appetizers and wine by candlelight. Seated around two Steinway pianos, guests enjoyed musical selections ranging from Chopin to Billy Joel to Billy Strayhorn’s “Take the A Train.”

To earn the All-Steinway School designation, 90 percent of the Shepherd’s pianos must be Steinway-made. Shepherd has committed to investing in 28 new Steinway and Sons pianos, ensuring that students studying and performing music on all levels will have access to a Steinway piano in every university practice room, teaching studio, and performance space.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity,” said Hendrix. “Becoming an All-Steinway School provides our current students with the best instruments possible for the study of music and will send the message to prospective music students that Shepherd University and its strong network of supporters are deeply invested in their success.”

“With their donation of Shepherd’s first Steinway B grand piano, Hendrix and Craft have made a gift that will benefit thousands of students for generations to come,” said Dr. Rob Tudor, chair of the Department of Music. Every Steinway and Sons piano bears a legacy of excellence with a life expectancy of 60-100 years.

Additionally, Hendrix and Craft have partnered with Dr. Scott Beard, acting provost of Shepherd University, and Alan Gibson to donate a Boston upright piano designed by Steinway and Sons. Both gifts were made to the university through the Shepherd University Foundation, which sponsored the October 19 event.

The Department of Music at Shepherd University serves to inspire student growth by providing a climate conducive to the development of the comprehensive musician. Each year, the department fosters 110 music students, with more than 50 students taking music appreciation classes and more than 300 students participating in the university’s jazz and chorale ensembles and Ram Band. The music department also impacts more than 500 individuals each year through its Community Music Program, which includes the Masterworks Chorale, Shepherd University Community Orchestra, Shepherd Youth Chorus, summer music camps, and an early childhood program. Performances attract more than 4,000 audience members annually. To learn more about Shepherd University’s Department of Music, visit

For more information about the All-Steinway Campaign and how you may contribute through the Shepherd University Foundation, visit or contact Stacy McFarland, director of annual giving, at 304-876-5526 or

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