Wednesday 20 April 2022 was a landmark day in our journey to become an All-Steinway School. This is an accreditation that demonstrates our commitment to excellence and to providing the very best equipment possible for the study and practice of music - and a day that began with a sense of nervous anticipation.
Our Music Department and several of our Colleges are located in historical buildings within the Durham World Heritage Site. 23 pianos were delivered to their new homes within the UNESCO site using long-reach cranes to lift them carefully through windows.
A temporary road closure was put in place to allow for the safe delivery which was carefully managed. Passers-by stopped to watch in astonishment as the instruments were hoisted to the first and second floor windows with a remote-controlled crane, with the last delivery of the day being a beautiful Steinway AS grand piano.
Earlier this year, a group of students and staff visited the Steinway factory in Hamburg, Germany, to see the manufacture of the hand-made instruments and try out some pianos so that they could select a model for their own College.
The remainder of the pianos will arrive on Tuesday 26 April. To celebrate the arrival of the pianos, we are hosting a celebratory concert on 27 April featuring 28 Steinway pianos and more than 50 musicians. The concert will include an original composition by one of our music students, Liberty Richardson, written specially for the occasion.
The new pianos will be available to all students, of all abilities and experience – not just to those studying music – representing another way in which we offer an unsurpassed and ever-evolving wider student experience.
Following the concert, the instruments will be moved to their permanent homes across our Colleges and the pianos they are replacing will start their journey to a new life in schools, charities and community organisations across the region.
With thanks to the highly skilled teams from Griffioen Transport and G&R Newcastle who expertly delivered the new pianos safely to their new homes.