International concert pianist Philip Fowke gave a concert last week to recognise the Convent as 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 – 2 May 2019.

The Convent of Jesus and Mary (CJM)  has made a long-term pledge to become the first state funded ‘Steinway School’. Steinway pianos until now, have only been available in England’s top fee paying schools. By entering into the All Steinway School Initiative the school is demonstrating a long-term commitment to excellence by providing music students and staff with the absolute best equipment possible for the study of music.

Music students attending the Convent 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 platforms in the world. CJM is now the only state school in the country to own this latest model.

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 last night 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.”

Steinway artist Philip Fowke has agreed to be a Patron of the Convent and performed The Art of Encore at the school’s inaugural concert in celebration of its commitment to excellence in the study of music.

Philip said: “It was a memorable, enjoyable evening. Lovely to see the girls again who helped me choose the Steinway piano for the school. We did a good job together!”