Cheyney University Joins the Elite as All-Steinway School

October 31, 2013

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Cheyney University professors Toni Hall, Marietta Dantonio-Madsen and Dr. Sebronette Barnes-Aborom of the Fine Arts, Design, and Liberal Studies Department, listen to music major Christian Beard play on the university's new Steinway Model D concert grand piano.

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Cheyney University recently became an All-Steinway School, joining more than 160 other schools in the world with that same illustrious distinction.  “All-Steinway Schools demonstrate a commitment to excellence by providing their students and faculties with the best equipment possible for the study of music,” says Sally Coveleskie, National Director of Institutional Sales at Steinway & Sons in New York City.

From the practice room to the performance hall, every piano at All-Steinway Schools are designed by Steinway & Sons. Statistics show that Steinway pianos are exclusive to 97% of all pianists performing with orchestras around the world, as well as 1,600 musicians who are designated Steinway Artists.

Cheyney University professors who utilize the Steinway pianos on campus are thrilled. “This ensures that students and faculty have the appropriate quality instruments needed for the department,” states Director of Choral Activities Marques L. A. Garrett. “This way, we are able to adequately prepare for the plethora of performances we have each year. As a student, they have pianos that they can use for study. As faculty, we have pianos that we can use to improve in our craft and careers."

Since 1853, Steinway pianos have set an uncompromising standard for sound and beauty. Just one Steinway grand piano, for example, takes nearly a year to create. Even the carefully selected woods employed in the rims, tops, soundboards, and actions cure for months in Steinway’s yard, kilns and conditioning rooms.  The rich, unrivaled tone and touch of a Steinway piano inspires students to realize their artistic talents.  In addition, it's expected to prepare them to compete at the highest level in the professional world.

The All-Steinway School designation for Cheyney has been a few years in the making. Inventory of the pianos around campus began before Marian Anderson Music Center’s renovation was complete and sparked much excitement in the Cheyney Fine Arts Department

“We knew the Marian Anderson Theatre was being renovated as a performing arts center and we would need pianos for the practice studios and for the 500-seat auditorium. The timing seemed perfect,” recalls Professor Marietta Dantonio-Madsen, Chair of CU’s Fine Arts, Design and Liberal Studies Department, “but there was a lot of groundwork to do.”

In order to earn the elite designation as an All-Steinway School, CU needed to add a Steinway Model D concert grand piano to its fleet, which was done in fall, 2012, bringing the total number of Steinway pianos on campus to 10. The concert grand piano now graces the stage of the Marian Anderson Music Center where it is used for master classes by University students and faculty pianists, and guest performers.

Professor Madsen asserts, “Often, the first request often a guest musician asks is if there’s a Steinway concert grand, and we feel the addition of this concert grand signifies that the University has made a commitment to excellence.”

Industry experts also say that just the All-Steinway School title alone, a universal symbol of excellence, is expected to enhance Cheyney University’s music program for the next 30 to 40 years.

To see a complete list of All-Steinway Schools and to learn more about them, including Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, go to