College of Visual and Performing Arts

Magnificent New Steinway Delivered


Few things are more exciting or more dramatic for a Department of Music than watching a brand new Steinway piano being delivered from New York and assembled on the IPFW Auer Performance Hall stage. This exceptional and expensive instrument was delivered Feb. 24 and “flipped” into place in time for concerts being presented in March. The hand-crafted piano, selected by Associate Professor Hamilton Tescarollo on a buying trip to New York City in January, will help attract and retain talented music students and inspire distinguished artists to consider working in residence at IPFW.

Although the Rhinehart Music Center was opened in 2007, the Department of Music was still using a 9-foot Steinway grand piano bought in 1982. It was the only full-size concert piano on campus and after 35 years of use it was in desperate need of restoration. It became evident that a brand new, hand-crafted concert Steinway was in order and identifying funding became a top priority.

The Indiana-Purdue Student Government Association (IPSGA) and Auer Foundation, along with numerous individual donors, combined forces last year to fund the purchase of the new Steinway that will benefit 175 IPFW student musicians, guest artists, and audiences at more than 90 concerts every year.

Once the money was secured, only one thing remained: going for a test drive to select the perfect instrument. On Jan. 28, Tescarollo and Department of Music Chair Greg Jones traveled to Steinway & Sons New York Factory to put six of the fabled pianos through their paces. Once there, they were joined by Dr. Caio Pagano, Regents’ Professor of Piano, Arizona State University, whose opinion Tescarollo highly values since the attributes and nuances of each piano are unique.

Now that it is gracing the stage in its permanent home at the Auer Performance Hall, the magnificent new Steinway grand is the primary instrument for high-level concerts, such as the IPFW Community Orchestra, the annual student concerto and aria competition, and of the IPFW Gene Marcus Piano Camp and Competition. To complement the Steinway purchase, all 12,116 parts of the 1982 Steinway have been fully restored and now it has a full dose of the internal magic that makes it a Steinway.


New API 1608 Wows Students


What do IPFW, Berklee College of Music in Boston, and the Tisch School of the Arts in New York have in common? A top-of-the-line, API recording console for their students to replicate the professional recording studio experience! The IPFW/Sweetwater Music Technology Program now offers the only API console in the region and it promises to raise the Department of Music’s recording capability in Rhinehart Music Center, and their ability to effectively teach students to a standard that compares to other high-quality music school programs throughout the country.

Director of Music Technology John Fishell recommended the purchase of a new API 1608 console by Automated Processes, Inc. (API), as part of a plan to update the music technology equipment needed to more fully prepare our students for professional recording studio opportunities. VPA Dean John O’Connell was able to secure funding through the university, along with IPFW’s ongoing endowment from Sweetwater to make the purchase, along with expert installation.

The API 1608 console was made to order for IPFW in Jessup, Maryland, and arrived in July 2017. Local studio owner and engineer Dan Middleton was contracted to physically wire the Rhinehart Music Center for the new equipment.  Hundreds of individual audio cables were installed and terminated, one at a time, in order to maintain the highest audio quality throughout the system.  The wiring component of the installation was about 30% of the entire cost, with installation and testing completed in time for the spring 2017 semester.

What makes the API 1608 so special? Traditionally, the output from API consoles is well known for having a characteristic “punchy yet warm” sound, as well as a “glow,” which is difficult to define. API audio electronics are sought out by engineers, producers, and musicians due to the favorable “coloration” they impart to recordings. A quick look on eBay will show that today even pieces and parts of API consoles from the ’60s and ’70s have financially appreciated, and are very much in demand.

Other high-quality items that were part of the upgrade included reference quality microphones, an excellent live sound reinforcement system, and exceptional quality musical instruments (such as a high-end Gretsch drum set) that are typical of a professional recording studio.

Performing in Carnegie Hall - The Event of a Lifetime

Symphonic Winds

Student musicians from IPFW experienced the event of a lifetime during spring break in March 2106. The Symphonic Wind Ensemble represented IPFW (for the first time) with a performance at the world famous Carnegie Hall in New York City as part of the 2016 New York Wind Band Festival. This concert featured Billy Hunter, principal trumpet of the Metropolitan Opera orchestra; IPFW’s Dr. Hamilton Tescarollo, performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue;  a world premiere work by New York composer Michael Markowski and Bernstein’s Overture to Candide. Student musicians  visited the Museum of Modern Art, and attend a performance of “Le nozze de Figaro” (The Marriage of Figaro) at the Metropolitan Opera. There was a pre-concert reception for New York City area IPFW alumni, parents, friends and supporters at Sardi's Restaurant in Manhattan.