Victoria College is proud owner of musical history
Steinway Grand
Victoria College staff and students pose with Victoria Fine Arts Association members by the Steinway Grand piano recently donated to VC by the VFFA.

Some of the top classical music artists of the last century have literally left their mark on a piano housed at Victoria College’s Johnson Symposium.

A Steinway Grand piano, donated to Victoria College by the Victoria Fine Arts Association, has been autographed by some of the top pianists and opera singers, including the late Luciano Pavarotti.

The piano is still used by VC students as well as in concerts that are held at VC’s Johnson Symposium.

“Victoria College’s music department is thrilled to have the nine-foot Steinway Grand,” said VC Music Professor Dr. Marylynn Fletcher. “We use it every month for studio performance classes. We also use it for recitals every semester and for performances of smaller ensembles that are open to the public such as faculty recitals and student recitals.”

The piano was purchased by the Victoria Fine Arts Association from a San Antonio dealer in 1972 for $9,076. During the 1972-73 classical concert season, VFAA’s board of directors requested all artists sign the cast iron plate of the instrument.

Victoria’s high humidity took its toll on the piano, and it had to be sent in 1976 to San Antonio, Houston and Round Rock for extensive repairs. The VFAA board decided to have the piano completely rebuilt. The piano was back in Victoria in time for a 1989 concert by famed Brazilian classical pianist Jose Carlos Cocarelli.

The piano was used to accompany Pavarotti during his performance at Victoria College’s Fine Arts Auditorium in 1978. Among other noted artists whose signatures appear on the instrument are pianists Andre Watts, Alicia de Larrocha, John Wustman and Peter Nero and soprano Dame Janet Baker.

The piano is also helping VC students achieve their musical goals.

“One of our former students won a Clara Freshour Nelson Music Scholarship by recording on this piano,” Fletcher said. “Using this piano helped her make an excellent recording and win the $24,000 scholarship to help her pay for a music degree.

“The music department also sponsors recitals for pre-college students taught by teachers who are members of the Victoria Music Teachers Association several times a year. This allows serious young piano students an opportunity to perform on a nine-foot grand piano.  The more advanced students learn the fine adjustments you must make when playing a nine-foot grand piano.”

Pictured are, seated from left, Hannah Balentine and VC Music Professor Dr. Marylynn Fletcher and, standing, Michael Velasquez, Christopher Murphy, Primitivo Tristan, VC Music Professor Jonathan Anderson, VFFA members John Gilley, Gerri Schroeder, Adam Uszinski, Jerra Lee, John Quitta, Kate Garcia, Laura Koliba, VC Vice President of College Advancement and External Affairs Jennifer Yancey, VC Foundation Executive Director Amy Mundy and VC Vice President of Instruction Administration Marjorie Price-Seeger.

Steinway Grand
Luciano Pavarotti signed the Steinway Grand piano after performing at Victoria College’s Fine Arts Auditorium on April 22, 1978.
Published: Wednesday, 05 April 2017

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