MACON – Mercer University became one of only 164 All-Steinway Schools nationwide with the delivery of 37 Steinway & Sons pianos to the new Joan Stockstill Godsey Center for Keyboard Studies in the Townsend School of Music on Monday.
A $1.5 million gift by Mercer's chancellor, Dr. R. Kirby Godsey, was announced in April to establish the Godsey Center in honor of his wife, Joan, her many contributions to Mercer and her commitment to and love of music.
In addition to funding the purchase of 37 Steinways and the refurbishment of seven existing Steinways, the gift includes an endowment fund for the perpetual maintenance of the master pianos.
The Joan Stockstill Godsey Center for Keyboard Studies joins the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings and the Townsend-McAfee Institute for Graduate Church Music Studies as signature programs of the Townsend School of Music.
The Godsey Center will host the annual Joan Stockstill Godsey Concert Series, which will feature leading international performing keyboard artists.
One of the most sought-after soloists in his generation of young American musicians, pianist Orion Weiss will return to Fickling Hall on Mercer's campus as the featured artist in the inaugural concert of the series on Sept. 5, 7:30 p.m.
"We are very excited to have Orion Weiss present the inaugural recital in this new series of concerts," said Dr. C. David Keith, dean of the Townsend School of Music. "In addition, representatives from Steinway & Sons in New York will be in attendance to make a presentation to the Townsend School of Music. This promises to be one of the most important events of the year, and I hope that Fickling Hall will be filled to capacity to hear this outstanding performer and to be a part of the festivities."
Dozens of pianos that have been previously used at the Townsend School of Music and professionally maintained on site are being made available to staff, students, alumni and friends of the University substantially below their original price. Pianos are available on a first-come, first-served basis on Friday and Saturday, July 25-26, by appointment, and Sunday, July 27, 12-5 p.m., at a public sale.
For more information, or to register for an appointment on campus, visit http://mercerpiano.org.
About Townsend School of Music
Mercer University's Townsend School of Music, the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings, the Townsend-McAfee Institute for Graduate Studies and the Joan Stockstill Godsey Center for Keyboard Studies offer undergraduate and graduate professional music studies in a comprehensive university environment. Townsend is nationally recognized for its outstanding faculty, award-winning students, performance ensembles and state-of-the-art facilities. The McDuffie Center, a special institute within Townsend School of Music, is a highly selective program that prepares string students for success in the real world. Students study with some of America's most renowned string musicians, receiving music instruction of conservatory quality, while earning an academically well-rounded education from a comprehensive, nationally recognized university. For more information and a complete listing of this season's concerts, please visit mercer.edu/music or call (478) 301-5751.