New Steinway enables “Artistry of the Highest Caliber” at Marple Newtown
NEWTOWN SQUARE, PA. – A shining Steinway Model B grand piano that once seemed like a dream for Marple Newtown High now proudly stands in the school’s new performing arts center – historic testament to the extraordinary life of a local physician and Holocaust survivor.
The Marple Newtown Music Parents Association, with guidance from Sonja Lynne of Jacobs Music Company, launched a multi-faceted fundraising campaign in 2013.
“Steinway is hands down the finest piano in the world,”
MNMPA President Karen Rice told the Marple Newtown School Board in announcing the “One Kid One Key” community initiative, where participating families could make any size of financial contribution and piano parts were sold from $10 to $5,000. Other funds came through donations and community events to achieve the ultimate goal of $90,000. But the campaign, punctuated by perseverance and tenacity, reached its high watermark when Steinway Artist Dr. William Carr teamed with Dr. George Horner for a special performance. “That concert really put their fundraising efforts out there for the public to see in a meaningful way,” Ms. Lynne said.
Dr. Horner started playing piano at age six in his native Czechoslovakia, honing a passion that later would prove essential to surviving the horrors of Terezin, Auschwitz, and Buchenwald. He used his musical gift to help lift the spirits of prisoners, stealing precious minutes away from the harsh realities of the day. “If it weren’t for music, I wouldn’t be alive,” Dr. Horner admitted to NBC News before appearing with Yo-Yo Ma at Boston’s Symphony Hall in 2014. He earned his medical degree in Sydney, Australia and brought his family to the United States in 1964, going on to prominent positions at Yale, Jefferson University Medical School and Wyeth International. Sadly, Dr. Horner passed away in 2015 at the age of 91, before the school completed its mission.
“The vision of MNMPA and dedication of Chris Vogel, Director of Choral Music, are responsible for bringing this Steinway to its home,” Ms. Lynne said. “I was honored to be part of the process, providing ideas and collaborating with them in every way possible.”
Addressing the selection process, Ms. Rice added:
“Giving students the tools for artistry of the highest caliber is why Marple Newtown High School and the Performing Arts Center chose a Steinway grand piano.”
The new Model B is getting plenty of use, as the PAC hosts more than 20 performances each year, including Band, Choir and Orchestra concerts as well as guest artists.
Marple Newtown has repeatedly been recognized among the “Best Communities for Music Education” by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation.
“Conducting a determined campaign as we’ve seen at Marple Newtown High School speaks volumes about their steadfast commitment to excellence,” said Glen Gough, Corporate Sales Manager for Steinway & Sons. “We couldn’t be happier with their choice of an instrument that will undoubtedly bring out the absolute best in their young student musicians for years to come.”