Keys to Excellence Elevates Music Program

Douglas Allen, LA’73, was raised in a musical family, so when he was looking to make a difference at Drake, he focused on the music program. Allen donated one piano, and after seeing Sarah Thune, a senior applied piano major, perform on it, he felt inspired to give another one.

“I was impressed by her passion,” Allen says. “I saw her intensity and her excitement that showed she loved the piano and music. She was thankful for the new piano, and I was thankful for her talent. Watching her play gave me faith in Drake’s music program.”

Through Keys to Excellence, a fundraising effort that is part of distinctlyDrake, the University plans to replace 68 of its 100 pianos and has already received the funding to purchase 11 new pianos. But the initiative is about more than replacing instruments that are beyond repair. Having high-quality pianos will enable Drake to attract high-caliber music students and faculty, and it will allow current students to pursue their passion for music with instruments that reflect the excellence of the University’s music programs.

The fundraising effort has a broad impact. Every music student, regardless of major, completes four semesters of piano instruction. Additionally, Drake hosts numerous performances throughout the year that are free and open to the community. New pianos will enhance these performances to the benefit of all.

Contact Doug Lampe, major gift officer, at 515-271-3055 or doug.lampe@drake.edu for more information on the Keys to Excellence fundraising effort.

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