Earlier this year, Westfield State was generously gifted $1.1 million by an anonymous donor. This is the largest donation ever received by Westfield State, but it’s not just the amount that makes this gift so special. The donation was made in honor of the late Dr. Catherine Dower, the former chair of Westfield State’s Music Department. And these funds will be used to purchase 20 Steinway & Sons pianos, earning Westfield an All Steinway School distinction this fall.
But what does an All Steinway School distinction mean for Westfield and how does the donation affect the Music Department?
For starters, Westfield State will become the only public institution in New England to earn the distinction, and a perfect opportunity to study music in college. In the United States, there are less than 140 schools total with the title. This puts Westfield's college music program alongside some of the top educational and performing programs in the country. With the addition of the twenty new pianos, including two new grand pianos, students and alumni alike can enjoy world-class performances on world-class instruments for years to come.
Find out more about the All Steinway distinction and the donation here.
The instruments will be used for practices and performances in the Catherine Dower Center for the Performing and Fine Arts. Dr. Dower had worked with Westfield State for 35 years and dedicated her life to enriching the cultural and educational lives of thousands of students. Upon retiring in 1990, she received the title of Professor Emerita of Music History and Literature. And in 2015, she made a $1 million donation to build the Performing Arts Center.
The Center is home to the Music Department’s many performances throughout the year. Over 60 public live shows are put on each year for the Westfield State community ranging from chamber music to jazz ensembles. Be on the lookout for the new Steinway & Sons instruments around campus and throughout performances in the upcoming year.
Are you interested in pursuing a Music degree from Westfield State? Click here to learn more about the many majors and concentrations available to you.
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