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Spotlight on Our Donors

Give Now, Options | Donor Spotlight | Chair's Message

For information on sponsorship or general giving, contact Matt Longhi, Director of Publicity & Marketing, Music & Dance Department, 413-545-0018,, or Lucia Miller, Director of Development for the College of Humanities & Fine Arts, 413-577-4421,



The Piano Maintenance and Repair Fund — created by Nadine Shank, Professor of Piano

Nadine ShankProfessor of Piano Nadine Shank has created a Piano Maintenance and Repair Fund for the Department's 68 pianos. Our pianos are in constant use and to keep them in good shape, funds are needed for ongoing repairs, some extensive maintenance, and a rebuilding program. "When the piano tuner comes to me with a list of repairs, it is so much fun to say, "Go ahead, go ahead!" said Shank enthusiastically.

It is vital for our students and faculty, pianists and non-pianists to have well maintained instruments. For example, when a voice teacher was hired, the Fund was used to completely rebuild the piano in her new studio. "We couldn't have her working on a poor piano," said Shank, who has been on the faculty since 1980. The very generous gifts that she continues to make, enable the department to work closely with the piano technicians to create a multi-year repair plan. The department is also very grateful to the matching funds from Julie Candler Hayes, Dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, and the Chancellor, which greatly enhance Shank's own gift.

"It is more fun to see my money working now, than think about the benefits that will come after I retire. Basically, I love all the students at UMass Amherst and will do what I can to make their lives more enriched musically-through my own teaching, accompanying them in recitals, and by giving them access to better maintained instruments." Shank also gives a scholarship for an outstanding undergraduate collaborative pianist.

Professor Shank comes from a family of musicians and a tradition of giving. Her mother, a classical and big band singer and pianist, volunteered for innumerable hours to organize music festivals and serve as treasurer for the Ohio Federation of Music Clubs. Her father was a clarinetist and saxophonist who served in World War II; her parents met while performing in big bands. "I heard the sound of his taped radio shows of big bands throughout my childhood." Her grandmother, a pianist and organist, played for silent films.

"Also, I donate because I am forever grateful to the 'universal life force' which has allowed me to have this wonderful position with my fabulous colleagues for such a long time."

Dance Department