Generous Donation Gives Bemidji State’s Music Department A New Grand Piano
Thanks to a generous donation from Marilyn Vogel ’71 and Leland Wilkinson, Bemidji State University’s Department of Music welcomed a brand-new Steinway Model B grand piano into the Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex on Feb. 27.
The gift kicks off a long-term plan for Bemidji State to replace all but one of its Steinway grand pianos, most of which are between 50-60 years old.
“I’ve been working with the music department to find private funding for 25 new pianos as part of a $1.6 million project,” Justin Klander, an advancement officer for the BSU Foundation, said. “This will hopefully be the first of many to come.”
The brand-new Model B cost approximately $90,000 after discounts and a trade-in credit on the Steinway Model L. That Model L had served Bemidji State’s Bangsberg Main Theatre for six decades.
“We want our students and faculty to have the best possible instruments on which to practice, rehearse and perform,” Dr. Stephen Carlson, the chair of the BSU music department, said. “This piano should serve the university for the next half century.”
Carlson said the Model B will create new opportunities for BSU’s Main Theatre to host chamber and vocal recitals and will dramatically improve the quality of the department’s regular performances, such as accompanying the Bemidji Choir and jazz band.
Bemidji State’s Department of Music will debut the piano at a free March 29 recital in the Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex Main Theatre. Three Bemidji State students will perform solos on the piano, and Carlson will both perform a solo and accompany Dr. Cory Renbarger, associate professor of music at BSU and coordinator of applied voice. The recital will begin at 4:30 p.m.