Cumberland students to get new pianos

Through the generosity of General Electric Foundation’s matching gifts program, students attending Cumberland University’s School of Humanities, Education and the Arts will have the opportunity to play on three new Kawai pianos when they return to campus in August.
Aug 20, 2013
(Submitted to The Democrat) Cumberland University Director of Music Brian Kilian sits at one of the pianos recently bought through donations and a gift from the General Electric Foundation.

Through the generosity of General Electric Foundation’s matching gifts program, students attending Cumberland University’s School of Humanities, Education and the Arts will have the opportunity to play on three new Kawai pianos when they return to campus in August.

The delivery of the new pianos, two uprights and one 7.6-foot grand with a combined value of more than $90,000, has been the culmination of more than a yearlong effort to raise funds needed to the musical instruments, according to Brian Kilian, professor of music.

A generous anonymous donor made the original gift to this project. As a retired employee of GE, the GE Foundation matched the gift. But this was not the end of the donor’s generosity or GE’s.

The donor then worked with the office of advancement at Cumberland to issue a challenge to other donors to raise some of the additional funds needed. Other university alumni and friends met his challenge, and that precipitated his second gift and still another matching gift from the GE Foundation. All of these combined efforts provided the funds needed to buy the new pianos, as well as provide for their annual maintenance.

The university plans to sponsor a free piano concert for the Lebanon community later this year to showcase the new instruments, as well as to publicly acknowledge and thank all of the donors who them possible.

For more information, contact Kilian at 615-547-1283.

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