Thanks to a generous gift from Susan Sommer, a nine-foot concert grand piano took the stage during the recent Brahms concert series led by our music division, April 11-14. Sommer dedicated the piano to her mother who "taught me to dream and encouraged me to sing." The acquisition is part of a wider effort to upgrade the pianos at Seattle University, 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," said Professor Josef Venker, S.J., chair of the Fine Arts Department. "Music as both a major, minor and co-curricular activity is an important factor for attracting and retaining higher quality students across the university." Sommer, Albers School of Business and Economics class of 2006, joined the Seattle University Choirs and continued with the Consort and Chamber Singers as an alumna.
“As a student I joined the choir my freshman year, winter quarter of the 2001-2002 school year. I’d attended the Holiday Concert and was incredibly impressed. I never imagined I’d sing like that and was doing it a month later,” Sommer said of her experience in the choir.
“I tell my friends and family this is what I do for the health of my soul,” she added.
David Chow, academic advancement officer for the College of Arts and Sciences, met Sommer when both were in the university choir and shared with her the need for the new piano.
“She really cares about the music program and wanted to make an impact,” Chow said. “This is a wonderful addition to our music program and the university community.”
The College of Arts and Sciences, the largest college in Seattle University, offers 42 undergraduate majors, 37 minors, and 7 master’s degrees, including an MFA in Arts Leadership.
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