The new Auburn University Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center will see a special addition to its space for performance in its Grand Opening Festival this week.

The Bösendorfer 280VC Vienna Concert grand piano will be used in the performance space during the four day festival, beginning August 22.

” The grand piano by Bösendorfer, a subsidiary of Yamaha, will be a central, permanent feature of the Center’s musical instrument collection, residing on the Sergio Marentes Stage in the Walter Stanley and Virginia Katharyne Evans Woltosz Theatre,” according to a press release.

To gain this new addition to the facility, Christopher Heacox, executive director of the Gogue Center traveled to Vienna director of development, Leah O’Gwynn, dealer Sam Bennett of PianoWorks in Duluth, Ga., the family of Auburn donors Bob and Julie Broadway, and their close family friend Nick Davis.

Together, the group selected the piano. The facility needed a piano with a sound capable of filling a precisely engineered and “demanding” performance space, according to Heacox.

“When we built this facility, we operated on only one stipulation: that it be as acoustically perfect as possible,” Heacox said. “As our architects, theater designers and sound specialists created the Gogue Center, we knew we had to have incredible instruments to show off the acoustics.”

Speaking with representatives and dealers from Yamaha, and seeing the instrument in Vienna himself, Heacox was “convinced” that the Bösendorfer 280VC “had the power and purity to match the advanced acoustics of the Gogue Center” while also being “versatile enough to capture the nuances and subtleties of a broad range of musical types.”

“We knew the center’s program would include a wide array of musical genres, and we needed a piano that could cover everything for soloists and ensembles alike, from chamber music to full orchestra to jazz and back to chamber music again,” said Heacox. “I was blown away by what Bösendorfer has achieved in the 9-foot grand piano market, and in the 280VC we got exactly what we needed: an instrument that can do everything, and that any artist would be happy to play.”

In addition to the Bösendorfer, Auburn University “has outfitted the Gogue Center’s various venues with a wide variety of cutting-edge sound equipment made by Yamaha and its subsidiaries,” including a Yamaha TransAcoustic upright piano for practice and warm-up in the facility’s star dressing room.

The Gogue Center’s Grand Opening Festival begins today and continues through Sunday, August 25.

The whole Festival schedule for August 22-25 is below:

  • Thursday, Aug. 22 at the Amphitheatre, 7 p.m.
    Free concert for Auburn students, faculty and staff headlined by LANY with special guest COIN;
    Presented in partnership with the University Program Council
  • Friday, Aug. 23 at the Amphitheatre, 8 p.m.
    Sold-out performance by Grammy Award winners Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit with special guest Molly Tuttle
    Sponsored by the Auburn-Opelika Tourism Bureau
  • Saturday, Aug. 24 at the Woltosz Theatre, 8 p.m.
    Black-tie fête featuring Michael Feinstein and Friends with Storm Large and special guests Santiago Ballerini and Jeremy Samolesky
  • Sunday, Aug. 25 at the Amphitheatre, noon to 4 p.m.
    Community Day featuring outdoor activities and performances by local and regional artists

For more information, log on to