From New York, to Pittsburgh and finally to Morgantown, a very special Steinway grand piano made its way to its new home at the West Virginia University Creative Arts Center last week.

The gift of William and Loulie Canady of Morgantown, the instrument is the second dedicated Steinway piano to be purchased for the WVU School of Music since the College of Creative Arts announced last year that it would become an All-Steinway school.

The Canadys are very special friends of the College of Creative Arts. They also provide funding for the Canady Series of Pittsburgh Symphony concerts held at the Creative Arts Center each year, as well as the Canady Scholarships for students in the arts. All of their gifts are given in the name of their daughter, Valerie, a WVU graduate who died in the bombing of Pam Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988.

“For several years the Canady family has supported students in the School of Music and helped to provide meaningful musical experiences for the Morgantown Community,” said Keith Jackson, director of the WVU School of Music. “With the gift of this Steinway D grand piano, they have done both.

“Our students and faculty will now perform on the highest caliber piano and members of the community will be able to experience performances that are free from any technical limitations. The addition of this instrument will allow the School of Music to continue to host important guest artists and events similar to last summer’s Piano Festival, which brought the legendary Leon Fleisher to WVU.”

WVU Piano Professor Christine Kefferstan and School of Music Piano Technician Tim Richards traveled to Steinway & Sons in New York City in September, where they met up with Patricia Neeper, president of the Steinway Piano Gallery of Pittsburgh, to select the new Steinway.

Kefferstan, Richards and Neeper toured the Steinway Gallery in New York, watched pianos being made, and Kefferstan and Richards tried out many different grand pianos before choosing Model D, Series Number 593511.

“The selected instrument will be a joy to our students, faculty and guests for generations to come,” Kefferstan said. “This wonderful grand piano is made possible through the generosity and forward thinking of the Canadys, the support of the School of Music and College of Creative Arts, Patty Neeper of Steinway in Pittsburgh, and the guidance of our brilliant technician, Tim Richards.”

Richards said the new pianos are already contributing to the artistic development of students in the School of Music.

“The musical capacity of these new instruments supports and nurtures the development of our students’ musicianship in ways that our old instruments may no longer be able to do,” he said. “For this reason, I am extremely anxious to see the campaign and its goals fulfilled.”

WVU is joining approximately 150 other major universities across the country and throughout the world that use Steinway pianos exclusively.

The All-Steinway designation will also allow the college to partner with more than 1,500 Steinway Artists worldwide, enhancing master classes and performances at WVU and providing performance opportunities at Steinway Hall in New York and at Steinway events worldwide.

Currently, All-Steinway schools include Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Yale School of Music, the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, and many others.

A recent inventory showed that 70 percent of the pianos at the Creative Arts Center are at least 30 years old. Therefore, the College is committed to raising $4 million to purchase more than 65 new Steinway pianos.

The initiative, titled “All Keyed Up,” is sponsored through the WVU Foundation private non-profit corporation that generates and provides support for WVU—in conjunction with Steinway & Sons in New York and their regional representative.

As part of this program, donors may contribute to the purchase of Steinway pianos for the college, beginning at the $1,000 level. A portion of every gift is also set aside for the maintenance and ongoing care of the pianos.

Donors who give $100,000 or more will be named as honorary members of the Steinway Living Legacy Society and will be invited to exclusive Steinway events at WVU and at Steinway & Sons in New York.

Steinway pianos are the standard for concert stages worldwide, with 98 percent of performing artists choosing to play Steinway exclusively. The construction and design of Steinway pianos, when maintained in best performance condition, give them a distinct musical capacity.

For more information about how to make a gift in support of “All Keyed Up,” please contact Glenn Rosswurm, director of Development for the College of Creative Arts, at (304) 293-4331 or

For more information on the Steinway pianos, see the Steinway & Sons website at


CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.