Texas Wesleyan University's new concert grand piano drew a crowd today before a note was ever played.
Students and professors gathered outside Martin Hall to watch their new Steinway & Sons concert grand piano be carefully loaded off a truck and assembled on stage.
It was precious cargo because it's not just any piano. The instrument had a starring role at The Cliburn piano competition this year, center stage in downtown Fort Worth. It was personally chosen for the competition by former Cliburn winner Vadym Kholodenko, and now the piano will stay in Fort Worth.
"This particular one has been chosen by the world's top pianists," said student Jan Lassker. "That makes this currently probably the best piano in the world."
"It's ours, we have it," said student Alicia Smith, who was the first to get to play the piano once it was set up today.
"No piano is the same, every piano is different in its own way," she said. "It just feels like glass, sliding across. It's beautiful."
Associate Professor Ilka Araujo helped select the piano and bring it to campus after hearing it was used in competition.
"It's very warm and brilliant at the same time," she said. "This piano is now part of Fort Worth's history."
Araujo said the instrument is worth $174,000. The school traded in an old piano and has also raised funds through donors. The instrument should grace the stage at Martin Hall for decades, where it will be used by students, faculty, guest performers and community members.
"We're just happy we can provide such an instrument for our students who deserve the best," said Jerry Bierschenk, Chair of the Music Department at Texas Wesleyan.