The sound of music at Mercer University is about to get a lot richer and a lot more enhanced.
That's because a large donation to the music school bought students nearly 40 brand new, top-of-the line Steinway pianos and helped refurbish seven others.
Mercer University's chancellor, Dr. Kirby Godsey, gave $1.5 million to the Townsend School of Music in his wife, Joan's, honor.
That money helped create the Joan Stockstill Godsey Center for Keyboard Studies and will cover annual maintenance and upkeep for the pianos.
"I was totally blown away, I had no idea," Joan Godsey said.
For Godsey, ebony and ivory are her solace.
"I started piano when I was 7 years old and music has been my life," Godsey said.
With brand new instruments for the students, about 50 more, some new, and some of the old ones, will be marked down for a public sale this weekend at the McCorkle music building.
"The price range will go anywhere from $900 to $90,000. It just depends on the type of piano, the age of the piano," Townsend's dean, David Keith, said.
Keith says Mercer is now one of 164 All-Steinway schools in the nation.
That's an honor for schools that meet certain criteria in providing high-quality pianos to its students.
"This allows us to say to potential student recruits that you do have the best, absolutely the finest equipment to go along with the finest teaching," he said.
Voice student McKinley Starks says his peers have been abuzz with the news.
"I heard there were 37 Steinways coming and I nearly started crying," Starks said. "It's about time for some new pianos, you know, it's such a blessing."
Graduate Kelsey Bishop says the school needed new pianos and says they will attract potential students to the music school.
Friday and Saturday are appointment-based only.
To make an appointment, visit mercerpiano.org or call 844-711-3010.
Steinway Piano Galleries institutional sales director, Ike Van Meter, says as of Thursday, there are 57 booked appointments so far.
Sunday's sale is open to the public from noon to 5 p.m.