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The first new Steinway pianos in East Central University's program initiative to become an all-Steinway school have been delivered to ECU's Music Department.

The three Boston UP-118S Studio Upright pianos, designed by the famous piano manufacturer Steinway and Sons, also are the department's first purchase of new pianos in more than 10 years and the first multiple purchase in more than 20 years.

ECU has 44 pianos in its inventory, with an average age per instrument of 51 years, said Dr. Mark Hollingsworth, chair of the Music Department.

"We have begun a fund-raising effort to replace many of our pianos with new, high-quality Steinways," Hollingsworth said. "We recognize that having superior instruments on which to practice and perform greatly benefits our students."

Last May the department's Piano Extravaganza raised $20,000 to begin the All-Steinway School and endow the Dennis Boe Piano Scholarship. This year, proceeds from the three piano series concerts will go toward the purchase of additional pianos.

The next concert will be Jan. 27 with French pianist Hughes Leclere, followed by the Italian cello/piano duo Dario Destefano and Maurizio Barbaro on March 9.

One of the department's goals is to purchase a nine-foot concert Steinway grand piano for the theatre in the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center now under construction.

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