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Sale to Help Secure Free Pianos for University’s Music Program


Next week Fordham’s music department will host a groundbreaking piano sale as part of a new collaboration with a philanthropic music organization. The sale will both fundraise for Fordham music and help secure free pianos for students.

The Rockley Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports music education, has donated new first-class pianos to the Fordham music program on a no-cost basis for the 2014-15 academic year.

The foundation also donated a selection of new pianos, orchestral instruments, and guitars to Fordham outright, which will be sold to the Fordham community and the general public March 19 through 21 at the Lincoln Center campus.

  • Private sale for the Fordham community by appointment: Make an appointment to attend a special “pre-sale” on Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fordham alumni will receive a discounted price. To make an appointment, call 212-832-8289.
  • Public sale: A public sale will take place Saturday, March 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. No appointment is needed.

All sales will be held in McMahon Hall at the Lincoln Center campus.

A selection of grands, baby grands, digital player grands, vertical (upright) pianos, digital pianos, orchestral instruments, and guitars will be available. Most instruments are less than one year old and feature makers such as Knabe, Seiler, Pramberger, Kurzweil, and others, as well as a selection of used Yamaha, Kawai, and Steinway & Sons pianos. All instruments are turned and include a factory warranty.

Funds from the sale will both provide scholarship money for music students and support the Rockley Foundation in its ongoing efforts.

At the end of this academic year, Fordham will sell the donated pianos that the music students are currently using. The foundation will then provide a new batch of pianos at no cost for the following academic year, thus perpetuating the program.

“We had wanted to connect with [schools]in Manhattan, and Fordham seemed like a good candidate in terms of what the music department was looking to do with the program at the Lincoln Center campus,” said Tobin Rockley, president and director of the Denver-based foundation.

With its roots in a small music store opened by Rockley’s grandparents in 1946, the foundation supports music education by raising money for music scholarships and musical instruments, which are then donated to schools across the country. Events such as piano sales allow the foundation to enter into lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with its partners.

For Fordham, the relationship is a first of its kind.

“We have a small but growing music program,” said Matthew Gelbart, PhD, associate professor of music. “It’s very much a liberal arts program—we don’t try to compete with schools like Juilliard or the Manhattan School of Music. We want to offer an opportunity to students who are interested in music, but who also want to get a well-rounded liberal arts education.”

In addition to its music majors, the Fordham music program has a significant number of students who either double-major in music and another subject area or do a music minor. Students have access to a variety of world-class music institutions and conservatories just blocks from campus, including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, where students can receive lessons from Jazz at Lincoln Center musicians, and the Julliard School, which offers ear-training classes to Fordham students.

For more information about the piano sale or to schedule an appointment, call 212-832-8289.


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