Impact Report Header

We are Artists

The University of Dayton is home to a thriving community of student artists — a community that stands tall because of the devotion of alumni and friends, many of whom are artists themselves. Recent gifts to the Department of Music are testament to such support.

Alleviating Costs for Music StudentsStudent with guitar

In addition to tuition, art students often shoulder the burden of paying for equipment and supplies. Whether it’s a camera for a photography student, canvas and paints for a visual artist, or an instrument for a musician, these supplies can be expensive.

Music students also bear the brunt of accompaniment expenses for performances. Sharon Davis Gratto, Department of Music chair, explained the hefty nature of this expense. “These costs can run high because they have to have an accompanist for their recitals, and they perform numerous recitals during their time here as majors. That’s quite a bit of accompaniment help, including paying for rehearsal time. And it’s all out-of-pocket expenses.”

Lifetime musicians Thomas Borling ’64 and his wife, Emily, are all too familiar with these costs. And they have buffered that expense for musicians at UD by establishing the Tom and Emily Borling Endowed Accompaniment Fund.

It was a visit to campus that prompted the establishment of this generous fund. After being away from campus for 25 years, Borling and his wife came back for Reunion Weekend. During their visit, Gratto gave them a tour of the Department of Music’s new internal office, instructional and rehearsal facilities.

That tour left a lasting impression, prompting the Borlings to establish the fund and enable the purchase of a beautiful double manual Herz harpsichord. Both gifts will resonate with the department for years to come.

Paving the Way to an All-Steinway SchoolSteinway Piano

“One of our hopes and dreams is to become an all-Steinway piano school, which means having a certain percentage of our piano inventory as Steinway instruments,” Gratto said.

The Dicke family has helped the department take a giant step toward that goal. Over the course of the last year, industrialist, artist and collector James Dicke II and his family have donated five Steinway pianos — four upright models for student practice use and one grand piano for a faculty teaching studio.

Each piano was donated in memory of a Dicke family member and features a plaque bearing the member’s name. The grand piano memorializes the Dicke family matriarch, Eilleen Dicke, and sits in the piano teacher’s studio — now known as The Eilleen Dicke Piano Studio.

The studio models honor Dicke’s uncle and aunt, Patrick and Dorothy Gilvary, who were married for 64 years and died within one year of each other. These gifts add to Patrick Gilvary’s already outstanding legacy at the University, established through a 47-year career immersed in the arts at UD, as a former chair and UD theatre faculty member.

Music student Dana Clark ’16 acknowledged the blessing of the Steinway gifts, saying, “They’re at our disposal, which is unbelievable. They’re beautiful instruments. It’s a big deal that, in an undergrad program, we have these instruments to use whenever we want.”

Clark knows how lucky students are to have such support. “We sincerely appreciate the opportunities provided to us. We have such a strong community of people who really care about the development of this program. It’s something that makes this program and our school unique.”


Donor Relations

Daniel J. Curran Place 5th Floor 
300 College Park  
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 7052