Harlesden secondary is first state school in the UK to use a Steinway Model D to teach pupils
- Credit: Archant
A Harlesden secondary school has marked being the first state school to use a prestigious Steinway piano with a visit from an international concert pianist.
Philip Fowke inspired pupils at the Convent of Jesus and Mary Language College (CMJLC) on May 3 when he dropped in to play on their new Model D full size grand piano.
Steinway artist Mr Fowke agreed to be patron of the convent in Crownhill Avenue and performed a selection of works from his Art of Encore collection at the school's inaugural concert on May 2.
"It was a memorable, enjoyable evening," he said. "Lovely to see the girls again who helped me choose the Steinway piano for the school.
"We did a good job together!"
CJMLC is the first and only state-funded school in England currently enrolled in the 'All Steinway School Initiative' - a commitment that demonstrates excellence in the study of music.
Music students now learn and play on one of three Steinway & Sons pianos, one of which is the prestigious Model D full size concert grand piano - usually reserved for the finest concert performances in the world.
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Headmistress Louise McGowan said: "I passionately believe in the girls in our school and I want them to have access to the best facilities and the same opportunities afforded to those in independent schools.
"As a pianist and ardent supporter of the arts, to have Philip come and play for the pupils, parents and CJM community was a unique and wonderful experience.
"I hope [his performance] inspires our girls to be the best they can be knowing that we are all behind them.
"This exciting initiative not only demonstrates to the community that the Convent greatly invests in the children who attend our school but also exhibits our commitment to high level arts education."
Craig Terry, managing director of Steinway UK, said: "We are very proud that the Convent of Jesus and Mary is the first state school in the UK to own a new Steinway Concert model D."