A Musical Gift Elevates Students’ Training

COBStudentsPose_DSC0066.jpgUTSA’s College of Liberal and Fine Arts (COLFA) received a generous donation from James and DeAnna Bodenstedt to enhance learning and training for students in the Music department. A new Steinway piano is making all the difference. The instrument was purchased by the Bodenstedts a few years ago and is in pristine condition. Now part of the Music department, it is highly valued by the department’s students as they are able to experience concert level sounds while perfecting their musical skills.

Professor of Music and Coordinator of Keyboard Studies, Kasandra Keeling, is especially happy to have this Steinway piano for her students. “Artist-level performance can only be achieved if students are working on artist-level instruments. The donation of this Steinway will have great impact not only for current students, but also for those in the coming decades,” she said.  

Keeling noted that most of the department’s current teaching instruments are approaching the 50-year mark, with one approaching 90 years, which indicates both the quality and longevity of this level of instrument. 

“You can also imagine the thrill for all of us to receive one that is relatively ‘newborn.’ It would have taken us years to fundraise for such a luxury. Our department is a place where this piano will be cherished and appreciated every day by students and faculty alike,” Keeling added.

One of the biggest indicators of musical success is how often musicians practice. Having a piano with the caliber of Steinway will continue encouraging students to practice and polish their skills for future performances.

"It is a privilege to play on this beautiful Steinway piano. As a student preparing for a recital, it makes a huge difference to be able to learn and bring out all the smaller details on a high-quality instrument,” said Juliana Woodlee, a senior piano performance major. 

The Steinway is also beneficial for students who play other instruments that may perform with a piano, including violin, cello, clarinet, and voice performance majors, among many others.

“I’m really grateful to be a part of this program where we have amazing professors like Dr. Keeling and Dr. Hurd. I can really hone in on my piano skills and one thing that is also really beneficial is having great, classic pianos to play on,” said Jordan Green, a junior majoring in music composition.

Jordan performs “Limon” in the video below, which is from a set of piano works called “Bella Vita.” The short piano pieces depict characters set in the Amalfi Coast in Italy, and they bring out the essence of each character that lives there.

-Jordan Allen