Published on April 12, 2019 by Ashley Smith  

Samford’s School of the Arts Division of Music has plans to update its piano inventory to provide the highest quality of instruments for its students. A recent piano showcase, Elite Eighty-Eights, in Brock Recital Hall announced the Elite Piano Program that would invest in some of the world’s best pianos. Samford students and faculty along with participants in Samford’s Academy of the Arts performed on ten elite pianos before a standing room only recital hall. Local piano galleries Ellis Piano and Alabama Piano Gallery provided the impressive international array of pianos for the special event. The showcase was such a success that it will now be an annual event and is scheduled for next Feb.21.

According to Jovanni-Rey de Pedro, one of Samford’s newest faculty members in the piano area, “The Elite Piano Program would ensure current and future students access to practice and perform on a variety of instruments.” Since pianists rely on instruments at hand, it is important to be adaptable.  The Elite Piano Program would increase the level of artistry for all of the pianists throughout the School of the Arts.  Samford graduate student Morgan Kline noted these benefits, “Each piano responds uniquely, so being able to experiment with different colors and sounds on variety of pianos opens up new possibilities for students to unfold their love of playing the piano.”

The goal is to purchase 36 new pianos to be used throughout studios, performance halls, and practice rooms ranging in size from large 9’ grand pianos to upright models. A significant fundraising campaign is underway to support this investment. To learn more about the Elite Piano Program and how to support this endeavor, contact School of the Arts advancement officer, Julie Boyd at

Samford’s Piano and Pedagogy Area is part of the Division of Music in the School of the Arts with a 70-year tradition of excellence combined with a 21stcentury approach for preparing today’s musicians. Faculty mentorship and high standards of musicianship are hallmarks of the program. Students can select from several degrees and have the opportunity to not only perform throughout the year but also have access to teach at Samford’s Academy of the Arts. Having the ability to translate instruction to others is an important part of the pedagogy learning model.

Engaged students recently established a Music Teachers National Association collegiate chapter and was one of four chapters nationwide selected to present at the national conference in Spokane, Washington over spring break. The national conference attracts close to 2000 music educators, performers and composers annually. Their group presentation included seven students: Mary Rudd, Spencer Mosley, Taylor Runyan, Eden Walker, Olivia Jones, Caleb Phillips, and Morgan Kline and considered the topic, “Sink or Swim: How Personality Affects Performance.”

Samford’s Piano Program is another example of the School of the Arts determination to provide the highest quality experience for its students and allow them to be uniquely prepared for their journey beyond Samford.