Illinois State University’s Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts has had a lot to celebrate since the fall of 2019, when the College and School of Art were named in recognition of the generosity of former Wonsook Kim and of her husband, Thomas Clement.
As part of Wonsook Kim’s transformative $ 12 million donation, the School of Music was able to purchase three new Steinway Model B concert grand pianos and 11 new Steinway Boston upright pianos. With the acquisition of these pianos, Illinois State University has met the criteria to be designated an All-Steinway School.
To celebrate this prestigious recognition, the Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts and School of Music presented a College concert on Sunday September 26. The concert featured the presentation of the All-Steinway School with remarks from Dean of the College of Fine Arts Wonsook Kim Jean Miller and Acting Director of the Adriana Ransom School of Music, as well as music performed by the Illinois State University String Symphony, Concert Choir, Jazz Combo I, Wind Symphony and Piano Faculty.
The Steinway Initiative has been a visionary goal for the College and School of Music for decades.
âWonsook Kim’s donation enabled us to purchase additional Steinway pianos that would support all of our music undergraduates and graduate students and raise the profile of music at ISU. His donation also enabled the School of Music to be named the All-Steinway School, a distinction less than 200 universities and colleges across the country can claim, âsaid Dean Miller. âAll-Steinway Schools demonstrates a total commitment to excellence by providing students and teachers with the best possible instruments for the study of music. The community of Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts and School of Music is happy to be able to provide the best pianos to our students and proud of the All-Steinway School designation.
In March 2021, Associate Piano Professors from the School of Music Tuyen Tonnu and Geoffrey Duce visited the Steinway Piano Gallery in Maryland Heights, Missouri, where they had the opportunity to spend an afternoon working with the many instrument options available, leading to the selection of the three new Steinway Model B grand pianos for Illinois State University. New upright pianos for classrooms and rehearsal rooms were selected to replace aging pianos that were in poor condition. In addition, a new Roland digital keyboard has been purchased for the Westhoff Theater of the School of Theater and Dance.
Wonsook Kim’s love and appreciation not only for the visual arts, but also for music and the performing arts is reflected in her willingness to include the Steinway initiative in her generous donation. The purchase of Steinway pianos is just one of the many ways Wonsook Kim’s donations will impact the College of Fine Arts in the years to come.