BROWNWOOD – November 3, 2015 – Amid the flurried activity during Howard Payne University’s Homecoming 2015 festivities, a group of people assembled in the choral hall of HPU’s Davidson Music Complex to celebrate friendship, music and a very special piano.
The university hosted a rededication of one of its Steinway pianos in conjunction with the Department of Music’s Homecoming reunion. The Steinway & Sons Model D, also known as the “Concert Grand” piano, was originally donated to the university in 1968 by the late Dr. Joseph and Mrs. Eddie Trussell, 1929 Howard Payne graduates. The 9-foot long, 990-pound piano was used for decades before falling into disrepair.
“Fortunately, Steinway pianos have wonderfully long lifespans,” said Dr. Diana Ellis, HPU’s first lady. “We knew the piano was crafted in such a way that it could be restored rather than replaced.”
Dr. Ellis, along with award-winning Christian artist and HPU alumna Dr. Cynthia Clawson Courtney, co-chairs HPU’s campaign to become a prestigious “All-Steinway School.”
“Steinway & Sons flawless reputation, quality and long lifespan of its instruments will provide outstanding service and performance for our students and faculty for many decades to come,” said Dr. Ellis.
Dr. Burton and Mrs. Virginia Patterson, who have given faithfully to HPU for a number of years, learned of the restoration needs for the grand piano. Dallas Steinway artisan and technician Mr. Steve Claunch fully restored the instrument to its original grandeur. The Pattersons and their family foundation, the Foundation for the Advancement of Christianity, graciously funded this restoration in memory and honor of Frank and Pauline Patterson, missionaries to Latin America (1938-1972). Dr. and Mrs. Patterson additionally have an HPU endowed scholarship in their name and donated the organs located in the university’s Mims Auditorium and Grace Chapel.
“The Pattersons have hearts for restoring musical instruments and for Baptist causes,” said Randy Yeakley, HPU’s vice president for development. “We’re very grateful for their love of music, their dedication to HPU and their continued generosity.”
The Trussells’ daughter, the late Lucile McDaniel, graduated from Howard Payne in 1944. Her husband, the late Bill McDaniel, was also a 1944 graduate. Their three children attended HPU and were present at the rededication: Sophia (McDaniel) Faulkner ’70, B.J. McDaniel ’77 and Ruth (McDaniel) Thames ’68. Also present were Steve Faulkner (Sophia’s husband and 1972 HPU graduate), Kristen Ivy (Sophia’s daughter and 2001 HPU graduate), Craig Ivy (Kristen’s son), Julie Ivy (Kristen’s daughter) and Roxanne McDaniel (B.J.’s wife).
“Looking at the piano now, you would not believe it was donated to Howard Payne almost 50 years ago,” said Dr. Ellis. “That’s what makes Steinway pianos the very best. We’re so thankful for the Trussells’ generosity and their gift that still benefits our students today.”
For more information about HPU’s All-Steinway School campaign, visit www.hputx.edu/steinway or call HPU’s Office of Institutional Advancement at (325) 649-8006.
Photo cutlines: Members of the family that donated a Steinway piano to HPU in 1968, as well as HPU faculty and staff members, gather around the piano. Left to right: B.J. McDaniel; Roxanne McDaniel; Ruth Thames; Steve Faulkner; Sophia Faulkner; Julie Ivy; Kristen Ivy; Craig Ivy; Randy Yeakley, vice president for development; Dr. Diana Ellis, HPU first lady; Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president; and Dr. Elizabeth Wallace, professor of music and chair of the Department of Music.
Dr. Burton and Mrs. Virginia Patterson and their family foundation, the Foundation for the Advancement of Christianity, funded the restoration of the piano.