Sunday Concert Celebrates Boesendorfer's Restoration

by Howard W. Hewitt

April 24, 2007

The Wabash College Music Department will celebrate the restoration of its Boesendorfer concert grand piano in a 4 p.m. Sunday concert.

The Boesendorfer has been restored thanks to a donation from John and Jill Failey, Indianapolis. The concert will be held in Salter Hall in the Fine Arts Center.

"The Boesendorfer concert grand piano has served legions of music students, ensemble participants, faculty, and guest artists over the past quarter century," Music Department Chairman Larry Bennett said. "When the time came to make a decision about whether to have the piano restored or to trade it in for a different model, alumni, faculty, and students rose up in a chorus to say that we should not give up the piano."

Failey said the restoration and his donation of a Steinway B piano to Wabash early last year was a way to give back and stay connected with the music program that gave so much to him."

Failey was one of the College’s first music majors. He went on to earn a masters degree from Indiana University in business administration.

His gift to restore the Austrian-made Boesendorfer creates a significant legacy.

"John and Jill’s gift is really a celebration of what Wabash makes possible for its students," said Dean of Advancement Joe Emmick. "Thanks to the Faileys, the Boesendorfer program will ensure our piano students, many of whom are not music majors, have a world class instrument to learn their craft and hone their skills."

Failey served as president of his family business, Engineered Cooling Systems, Inc., in Carmel, before it was sold in 2005.

"Many of our students will go on to do many other things like John did," Emmick said. "They will succeed in business, medicine, law, or academic work, but they will keep with them a lifelong passion for music and playing the piano. That’s something they will have learned at Wabash and something John and Jill have made possible for future generations of Wabash men."

In photo: Jill and John Failey at center with past President Andy Ford. At far left, concert pianist Andreas Klein performed on the Steinway provided to the College through the Failey's gift.


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