Home Alumni Keys to excellence

Keys to excellence

A new concert series will put Drake’s piano priority at center stage

Drake University’s Keys to Excellence piano priority will provide an opportunity for arts supporters to hear accomplished musicians showcase Yamaha pianos. Three first-class Yamaha Artists in Education will perform a piano concert series at Drake in celebration of the University’s initiative to replace 68 well-used campus pianos.

Each event will provide an opportunity for Drake arts supporters to hear accomplished musicians as they showcase the Yamaha models the University hopes to acquire through distinctlyDrake.

A new piano series presented by Yamaha will be held November 4, 2011, February 3, 2012, and May 4, 2012.

The events will feature a 7:30 p.m. concert (by invitation), a 9 p.m. reception with the artist and a 10 p.m. informal encore performance.

All events are free and the 10 p.m. performance is open to the public. Each Yamaha Artist in Education will also conduct a Saturday morning master class for Drake and community music students.

Performers for series include:

November 4: Anthony Molinaro, assistant professor of music, Loyola University

Molinaro has won numerous awards, including the 1997 Naumburg International Piano Competition, the William C. Byrd International Piano Competition and the 1995 National Piano Fellowship from the American Pianist Association.

February 3: Lynne Arriale, assistant professor of jazz studies at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville

Arriale, winner of The Great American Jazz Piano Competition, performs internationally with her groups at major festivals, including the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center, Jazz At Lincoln Center, The Gilmore Piano Festival, Cannes MIDEM, Burghausen, Stuttgart and many more.

May 4: Per Danielsson, assistant professor in jazz piano at the University of Central Florida in Orlando

Stockholm, Sweden native Danielsson is a jazz pianist, composer, arranger, writer and educator. His career has included performances with many leading jazz artists and entertainers, including Louis Bellson, Clark Terry, Rosemary Clooney and Bobby Shew.

More about Keys to Excellence

Pianos are essential for the development of Drake music students’ understanding and expression of music. Every music student, regardless of major, must complete four semesters of piano instruction. Additionally, pianos are vital to the music department’s fulfilling its role as a musical resource for the University and Des Moines community.

Although Drake’s Department of Music enjoys an outstanding reputation, the condition of our instruments does not reflect the excellence of our program. Fortunately, there is a solution — and Drake’s alumni and friends are the key.

The Range of Impact

Drake’s goal is to replace 68 of the University’s 100 pianos. Replacing these pianos will increase Drake’s ability to attract high-caliber music students and faculty and will provide current students with an exceptional learning environment in which to pursue their passion for music. Purchased in the 1950s and ’60s, these 68 pianos are beyond the point of repair and restoration is simply not cost effective — they must be replaced.

Making your gift

Show your passion for the fine arts by giving one or multiple Yamaha pianos to distinctlyDrake. Your gift will contribute to the culture of excellence inherent in music, the fine arts and all programs at Drake University. Piano prices range from $4,000 to $100,000, and each includes a permanent nameplate acknowledging the contributor.

For more information or to make your gift, contact Doug Lampe,
 major gift officer
 for the College of Arts and Sciences, at 
or doug.lampe@drake.edu.