Where did the new piano in the Pigott Auditorium come from?

January 28, 2013

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Key new acquisition for SU

Q:  Where did the new piano in the Pigott Auditorium come from? 

A:  When world-class opera divas Indra Thomas and Melissa Parks took to the Pigott Auditorium stage on Jan. 26, they were accompanied by a wonderful new Steinway piano. The nine-foot concert grand piano was made possible by a generous gift from Susan Sommer, an alumna of the Albers School of Business and Economics and longtime member of the chamber music program. Sommer dedicated the piano to her mother, "(w)ho…taught me to dream and encouraged me to sing." 

The acquisition is part of a wider effort to upgrade the pianos at SU, an effort being spearheaded by the Department of Fine Arts and University Advancement. "The piano is the universal instrument that impacts all of the music on campus, including the music majors, campus ministry, residential life, and the overall quality of the Seattle University experience," says Josef Venker, S.J., chair of Fine Arts. "Music as both a major, minor and co-curricular activity is an important factor for attracting and retaining higher quality students across the university." 

Of Sommer's gift, David Chow, academic advancement officer for the College of Arts and Sciences, says, "I met Susan in the choir and shared with her the need. She really cares about the music program and wanted to make an impact. It was a team effort with Joy Sherman, Fr. Venker, Susan and me."