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Trio jump-starts party for pianos

Concert a celebration for Brenau’s Steinway push

POSTED: January 31, 2013 1:00 a.m.

When Brenau University music professor and pianist Ben Leaptrott accompanies cellist Charae Krueger and violinist Kenn Wagner at a concert Tuesday night, Feb. 5, another “performer” will debut on the stage at historic Pearce Auditorium: a brand new Steinway & Sons concert grand piano.

The concert, which starts at 7:30 p.m., is free and open to the public.

Brenau leased the piano to kick-start its fundraising effort to become an “All-Steinway School.” The Ben Leaptrott Trio will introduce the piano to the audience.

“There’s so much more you can do with this instrument that we couldn’t do with the other piano,” Leaptrott said. “With so many more possibilities, it’s a very exciting time for the music department.”

The trio, formed last year during a faculty concert, also will perform with guest artists during the concert. Sopranos Barbara Steinhaus, chair of the Brenau Department of Music, and Jan Grissom, an adjunct professor, will sing arias. The trio also will collaborate with violinist Yang-Yoon Kim and bassist Doug Sommer for the “Trout Quintet,” Quintet in A major, D. 667, by Franz Schubert.

“This is the way for those of us who are teaching to stay current and still active in our performing careers,” said Leaptrott. “It also helps the students see their professors actually performing.”

Leaptrott, who often works as an accompanist outside of the university, said the trio has been performing more concerts now that all members are resident artists at Brenau.

“It’s a win-win,” he said. “The university gets more recognition when we play concerts and our trio gains more exposure as well.”

Leaptrott said that the university’s decision to become an “All-Steinway School” has helped attract both high-quality faculty as well as students. Brenau plans to acquire about 30 Steinway-branded instruments in the $1.5 million campaign.

After the concert, visitors can join the trio on stage to ask any questions about the piano or the campaign.

For more information about the performance, call 770-538-4764 or visit brenau.edu/music.

To contribute to the Dempsey Steinway and the All-Steinway project go to www.brenau.edu/giving/donate.

Or for more information, e-mail mthomas@brenau.edu or call 770-718-5309.


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