Mount Vernon Nazarene University: Life Changing

MVNU Music Department Presents Benefit Concert

RhotonJan. 26, 2017

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio — The MVNU Music Department hosted a Grand Piano Project Benefit Concert on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, at 3 p.m., in the R.R. Hodges Chapel/Auditorium as part of a fundraising campaign to purchase a new recital grand piano for Thorne Performance Hall. The event included performances by many current faculty members and performances by current students.

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MVNU President Henry Spaulding opened the concert with a word of prayer and thanks.

"I'm proud of this music department and what they contribute day after day, year after year, and how important they are to this campus. As we enjoy the gift of good music, we praise God in honor of human ability and ask ourselves how important that is for our faith, to the university, and to the community."

The concert featured performances by Rebecca Abbott, organ; Elizabeth Barrett, soprano; Charla Dryburgh, accompanist; JoAnn Koh-Baker, piano; Adrienne Lape, clarinet; Juan Ortega, Violin; Jennifer Packard, flute; John Packard, trumpet; Jim Puckett, percussion; Bob Tocheff, organ; Carrie Vail, mezzo-soprano; and Joel Vega, tenor.

However, the concert was more about the education of the students than the entertainment.

"The focus for today's concert is to continue a campaign that was started a year ago to replace the piano in Thorne Performance Hall," said John Packard, Professor of Music and Music Department Chair.

Currently, the music department has a Mason and Hamlin recital grand piano that is over 30 years old. It has seen a lot of use from students and faculty and requires care to keep it functioning. The university hopes to raise money to invest in a Shigeru Kawai grand piano to replace the old one. This type of piano was provided, at no expense, by Thomas Solich for use during the benefit concert.

"The piano in Thorne Hall has been foundational in shaping the lives of many students here. For Thorne Hall to continue to provide a venue for students to grow and perform the current grand piano must be replaced with a good one," said alumnus Nick DeWalt ('16) in regards to his time in the department.

In closing the benefit, Scott Peterson, Vice President for University Advancement, provided avenues for the audience to donate to the cause and invited them to the reception.

"Part of our goal and desire as a university is to provide the highest quality instrument for these students. They are honing their gifts so they may be used in the very best way to honor God and the kingdom. You and I are part of that project. You and I are a part of enabling them to use their gifts in the best possible way," he said.

Following the performance, the audience was invited to Thorne Performance Hall to listen to students showcase the new piano further.

Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students, and working adults. With a 327-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and several convenient Graduate and Professional Studies locations throughout the state, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service to community and church. MVNU offers an affordable education to more than 2,200 students from 28 states and 17 countries/U.S. territories.

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