Friday August 20, 2010

The Gift of Music

A generous gift to the University of Dayton has become the inspiration for the University's Fall Arts Series' lineup of piano-themed performances.

A gift from a former Kettering musician and teacher to the University of Dayton has become the inspiration for the University's Fall Arts Series' lineup of piano-themed performances.

The University's department of music earlier this year acquired a Bösendorfer grand piano with a gift from the estate of Madonna Wine Goss, who died in 2006.

The scheduled performances — entitled "The Piano: Celebrating an Instrument" — honor the legacy of the instrument itself, as well as that of the donor.

Madonna and husband Ted Goss — a 1955 University of Dayton graduate who died in 2001 — were long-time friends of the University. Her love for music dates back to her high school years, when she began playing as a church organist. She also taught music and choir in Kettering schools for 21 years. Her own studies began at Manchester College — which boasts a recital hall in her family's name — and continued at Westminster Choir College, the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, the Andover Institute of Organ and the Julliard School of Music.

Funding for the piano, valued at more than $60,000, came from an unrestricted financial gift from the Goss estate following Madonna Goss' death. University of Dayton President Daniel J. Curran viewed the piano as way to honor Goss' memory and love of music.

"We decided to use the gift for the piano because we took into account the things she liked to do in life," said Nancy Stork, University of Dayton assistant vice president of advancement. "She was a very talented woman who wanted to share that with others. We just had this particular need in the music department, and it seemed like the perfect match."

Goss is most noted for her profound influence on her students, many of whom describe her as a "second mom." Her zealous devotion to education in the area continues in several forms, including the Madonna Wine Goss Scholarship Fund, which benefits Montgomery Country students pursuing a music education degree.

"She's left a legacy, not only on individual students she trained, but also through her gift to future students as well," said Eileen Carr, Arts Series coordinator. "Sometimes we take people's passing on as the end of their influence, but clearly the students she taught continue to perform and remember her. And with this gift from her estate, she continues the legacy."

FALL ARTS SERIES SCHEDULE:

Awadagin Pratt in concert
8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 14, Sears Recital Hall (concert)
1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15, Sears Recital Hall (lecture)

The Arts Series kicks off with a concert featuring award-winning pianist Awadagin Pratt. Pratt is an associate professor of piano and artist-in-residence at the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and has performed at the White House three times. His concert will feature works by Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms and Franz Liszt. A blessing of the Bösendorfer grand piano will precede the concert at 6 p.m., followed by a reception in the Kennedy Union Torch Lounge. The lecture Sept. 15 is free and open to the public. General admission tickets for the Sept. 14 concert are $15; $10 for seniors, students and University of Dayton alumni, faculty and staff; and $5 for University of Dayton students. Tickets are available through the Kennedy Union box office, which opens Aug. 25. Call 937-229-2545 or visit http://tickets.udayton.edu.

Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037
7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12, Sears Recital Hall

Phil Farris, one of the department of music's artists-in-residence, will host a screening of Ben Niles' award-winning documentary, Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037. The film reveals the meticulous process of creating a grand piano in the legendary Steinway factory in Queens, New York City. This event is free and open to the public.

The Piano in the World of Jane Austen
7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3, Sears Recital Hall

English professor Laura Vorachek will discuss the piano's role in 19th century women's social circles in The Piano in the World of Jane Austen. The event is co-sponsored by the University's women and gender studies program. University of Dayton students will accompany Vorachek, performing popular compositions of the time. The event is free and open to the public.

Playing with Toys: Phyllis Chen in Concert
7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17, Sears Recital Hall (lecture)
8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, Sears Recital Hall (concert)

Phyllis Chen, classically trained pianist and founder of the UnCaged Toy Piano Composition, comes to Dayton in November to discuss and demonstrate the tools of her trade in Playing with Toys. Her lecture on Nov. 17 is free and open to the public. General admission tickets for her concert Nov. 18 are $15; $10 for seniors, students and University of Dayton alumni, faculty and staff; and $5 for University of Dayton students. Tickets are available through the Kennedy Union box office, which opens Aug. 25. Call 937-229-2545 or visit http://tickets.udayton.edu.

For more information, contact Eileen Carr, at 937-229-2787.