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Five new pianos for ONU Music Department

Jun 26, 2007
Ohio Northern University has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Presser Foundation for the purchase of five new pianos. Organized by professor of music, Dr. M.J. “Sunny” Zank, and Dr. Rebecca Casey, assistant professor of music, the grant will help the music department replace several older pianos. “We are delighted to receive this grant - pianos are such a vital part of our department,” says Zank. “Our unique relationship with the Presser Foundation is one we hope to maintain in the years to come. It’s a great way to carry out the wishes of Theodore Presser.” The Presser Foundation, based in Haverford, Pa., has a special relationship with Ohio Northern. Theodore Presser, the organization’s founder, was the first music professor at Northern. Presser taught in the early years of the university, and his will allowed for the construction of “Presser Halls” at 10 universities, including ONU. The current Presser Hall was completed in 1929, four years after Presser’s death. “Ohio Northern is proud to be part of the interesting history of Theodore Presser and to have benefited from his philanthropic legacy in the cause of music education,” said Dr. Kendall Baker, president of ONU. “Our university and our students have benefited over many decades from Mr. Presser’s foresight in forming The Presser Foundation and we value our enduring relationship with them enormously.” Dr. Casey, who came to the university in 1994 and is a tenured assistant professor of music as well as chairman of the keyboard department, was the recipient of a Presser Scholar award in 1984 as an ONU student. Since its establishment in 1939, one of the Presser Foundation’s main goals has been “to enhance music education and performance by supporting the acquisition of musical equipment and instruments and the construction and renovation of suitable buildings for musical instruction and performance.”