Steinway Lauds USC Aiken for Commitment to Excellence

Aiken, SC (02/01/2019) — During its 10th annual Winter Nocturne concert, the University of South Carolina Aiken was recognized as an All-Steinway School.

"What our most coveted trademark tells the world is that this school is committed to excellence, just as we have been for more than 165 years," said Sally Coveleskie, national director of higher education for Steinway & Sons.

"Steinway & Sons is very pleased to formally welcome the University of South Carolina Aiken to our global roster of All-Steinway Schools."

USC Aiken is the only South Carolina public institution recognized as All-Steinway. The other three in the state are private universities. The closest All-Steinway School is almost 100 miles away from Aiken.

"We are thrilled to be among the elite institutions with this distinction - and the first public university in the entire state," said Dr. Sandra Jordan, chancellor.

"While our recent national accolades, namely from U.S. News and World Report, cast USC Aiken as one of the top in its category, becoming an All-Steinway School certainly sets us apart in the visual and performing arts arena. We are committed to creating the best experience possible for our students and faculty.

"This impressive accomplishment will certainly elevate the reputation of USC Aiken, which is already being noticed within our state and region."

Coveleskie says that some of America's most revered conservatories began using Steinway & Sons pianos exclusively from their earliest beginnings. The Oberlin Conservatory of Music first partnered with Steinway & Sons in 1877, the Yale School of Music in 1897, The Cleveland Institute in 1920, and the Curtis Institute and the Juilliard School since 1924.

"From this illustrious core of institutions where the world's foremost musicians and teachers were already using our pianos, it wasn't inconceivable that other schools would want to emulate them in terms of examining their own piano inventories," Coveleskie said.

The mark of All-Steinway is a globally recognized honor, and it is expected to make a significant impact to the USC Aiken music program.

"Providing pianos designed by Steinway & Sons means that the University of South Carolina Aiken is committed to creating the best experience possible for their students and faculty," according to Coveleskie.

"Students will choose to invest their talents in USC Aiken because USC Aiken has invested in them. It is clear that this is an institution that cares about their students and wants them to become the best they can be by providing the necessary equipment to support that mission."

Coveleski believes that the All-Steinway distinction will strengthen all disciplines of study.

"As well as becoming more well-rounded in the arts, students become stronger cognitive thinkers and develop problem solving skills when they study music. It helps them become better scientists, medical professionals, mathematicians, executives, etc."

Steinway, an American company, is the premier manufacturer of quality pianos. Patrons of the visual and performing arts throughout the CSRA will also benefit for USC Aiken's commitment to excellence.

"Pianos by Steinway & Sons will enrich the cultural experiences for the community at large by attracting more people to concerts, bringing more and diverse artists to campus and, generally, enhancing the overall experience of the university as a cultural center of influence," Coveleski said.

"Being a vibrant center for the arts also can attract more business and industry to a community."

The journey to become an All-Steinway School started two years ago. The first major milestone in the All-Steinway Campaign was when the university's new 9' concert grand piano arrived December 2017. It was christened during the 2018 Winter Nocturne concert.

Jordan lauded the passion and commitment of Ben Cox and Beth Newburn, co-chairs of the campaign, and Judith Goodwin, advancement officer at the university.

"Their tireless efforts, coupled with the tremendous generosity of our donors, made this achievement possible."

"Thanks to all of you, USC Aiken can now join the ranks that includes the Yale School of Music, The Cleveland Institute, the Curtis Institute and the Juilliard School as an All-Steinway School," she added.

The university's new pianos, designed by Steinway & Sons, will be delivered to the Etherredge Center on Feb. 6 at 10 a.m. The community is invited to wear Pacer gear and join the celebration.

The All-Steinway Campaign will continue accepting donations which will be used to maintain the university's Steinways. As part of the effort, eight keys on the keyboard are still available at $1,000. Once complete, the university will display a plaque in the Ethrredge Center, identifying donors who made contributions of $1,000 or more.

For more information, contact Judith Goodwin, at: 803-641-3417 or

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During its 10th annual Winter Nocturne concert, the University of South Carolina Aiken was recognized as an All-Steinway School.