Music department first in Canada to acquire Yahama CFX Concert Grand Piano, thanks to generous donors
SACKVILLE, NB — The annual Brunton musical gala and reception, featuring Mount Allison University music faculty, will be held on campus in the Brunton Auditorium on Friday, Sept. 6 beginning at 8 p.m. A fundraiser for student scholarships, this year’s gala will also celebrate the arrival of a new concert grand piano to the department.
The new piano, a Yamaha CFX Concert Grand, gives Mount Allison’s music department one of the best piano collections in the Maritimes, and was made possible by the generosity of alumni Ian and Heather Bourne of Calgary, AB. The Bournes will be in attendance for the unveiling.
“Having musical resources of this quality greatly enhances the overall educational and performing experience for both our students and faculty at Mount Allison,” says university president Robert Campbell. “We thank the Bournes for their wonderful generosity to their alma mater.”
“We think the arts are important,” says Heather Bourne. “The idea of putting a new piano in place to help students and be available for performances, such as the Brunton gala, really appealed to us. We consulted with the music faculty and agreed it would be important in helping them and their students grow and succeed.”
“The concert grand piano is a top-of-the line instrument and we feel very fortunate to have it in our collection,” says Mount Allison music department head Elizabeth Wells. “This addition will enrich performances, rehearsals, and master classes for the entire department.”
In addition to Mount Allison, the Bournes have been highly involved in supporting their Calgary community through many organizations, including the Honens International Piano Competition. Heather has served as chair of the competition for the past six years. Honens has sent laureates to perform and conduct master classes at Mount Allison — an initiative supported by fellow alumna Pauline Spatz.
The concert grand piano unveiling marks another step in the restoration of Brunton Auditorium, a popular event venue in Mount Allison’s Marjorie Young Bell Music Conservatory.
New lights, a new stage curtain, a new ventilation system, as well as electrical, plumbing, and mechanical improvements are just a few of the ways the space has been modernized since 2006. In 2011, flooring and aging seats were replaced, enhancing the audience experience. Most of these renovations were made possible thanks to generous donations from Mount Allison alumni and friends.
Mount Allison is the first music department in Canada to acquire the new CFX Concert Grand Piano. In celebration of the new piano, Yamaha Canada is also sponsoring a recital at Mount Allison next season. Watch the university website (www.mta.ca) for event details.