Pellissippi launches campaign to become ‘All-Steinway’

Teaching studios in the Music program at Pellissippi State Community College are booked solid. The program itself has become so popular that more than 2,000 students participated in it this past academic year.

Pellissippi State has been educating musicians for more than 20 years. Now the institution is taking an important step toward elevating the program to world-class status: It is launching the All-Steinway School campaign.

Orchestrated by the Pellissippi State Foundation, the campaign seeks to place 13 Steinway pianos in studios, practice rooms and performance venues. The total needed is $600,000, and the funding is to be raised through private support.

If successful, Pellissippi State will become the first All-Steinway community college in Tennessee, the third community college in the nation, and one of only 114 colleges and universities in the world.

“This initiative truly takes our college and our offerings to a new level of excellence,” said Allen Edwards, Pellissippi State president. “When you think Steinway, you think of the best. Our students and this community deserve the best.”

Not only are one in five students involved in the Music program, but private instruction and class enrollment in the past few years have skyrocketed.

That speaks positively of both the college and the program. But it has also accentuated the need to replace worn-out pianos. After weighing various repair and replacement options, Pellissippi State administrators and music faculty hit a chord that resonated with all: Make the commitment to become an All-Steinway School.

“Steinway is and has been unarguably the finest piano ever crafted,” said Bill Brewer, music program coordinator at Pellissippi State. “Becoming an All-Steinway School is in keeping with our goal to become the premier community college music program in the region.”

Steinway and Sons was founded in 1853 by German immigrant Henry Engelhard Steinway. From the beginning, the company has crafted each piano by hand; each one requires up to one full year of production. Steinway pianos are the preferred instrument of nine out of 10 concert artists worldwide.

The Steinway piano is a rarefied instrument. Becoming an All-Steinway School is a lofty aspiration. The college is up to the challenge,” officials said.

“The Pellissippi State Foundation Board of Trustees and the loyal supporters of both Pellissippi State and the arts in our region will raise the money,” said Becky Paylor, chair of the Foundation board. “We believe in the importance of the arts, along with other key academic programs that Pellissippi State teaches so well. We will raise the money to invest in future teachers, music conductors and performers for our community.”

For more information about Pellissippi State’s All-Steinway School campaign, contact the Pellissippi State Foundation at 865-694-6529 or visit

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