Campbellsville University receives Vogt-Farrar Piano Collection

Campbellsville University receives Vogt-Farrar Piano Collection

                                                                                                                                                         March 30, 2012
                                                                                                                                             For Immediate Release

Doris Farrar, seated, and Lloyd Farrar, top right, attended the dedication concert of the Vogt-Farrar Piano Collection at Campbellsville University. At far left is Dr. Robert Gaddis, dean of the CU School of Music; Dr. Wesley Roberts, professor of piano; and his wife, Sida, holding Mrs. Farrar’s hand. (Campbellsville University Photo by Sarah Ames)

By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Campbellsville University has received the Vogt-Farrar Piano Collection, which consists of four historic pianos showing the evolution of the American piano industry from before the Civil War to the early 20th Century.

“This collection will give our students an opportunity to view and study stringed keyboard instruments built in the United States from the early 19th century to the early 20th,” according to Dr. Wesley Roberts, professor of piano.

“It will be the only collection of its kind in Kentucky.”

The pianos are a gift from Lloyd and Doris Farrar of Norris, Tenn. Lloyd Farrar taught musicology for many years at the University of Illinois, and Doris Farrar maintained a private piano studio.

“Campbellsville University is very pleased to accept the gift of pianos from the Vogt-Farrar Collection,” Dr. Robert Gaddis, dean of the School of Music, said.

“The pianos will clearly demonstrate the historical development of the concert pianos from the middle of the 19th century through the 20th century.

“Dr. Lloyd Farrar is diligently working to restore one of the older pianos back into playing condition, which will be of significant interest to piano students and teachers.”

Gaddis said the School of Music will “eventually house all the pianos, three table models and one upright piano, in a secure place with other antique instruments in a museum like fashion.


“We are honored to have these instruments in our collection.”

The Farrar couple amassed a large collection of musical instruments produced by European and American manufacturers, and saw the publication of several early piano works, including Amy Beach’s Summer Dreams for piano duet.

Three pianos are rectanglar grands (sometimes called table grands). The oldest is a Knabe dating from 1854. It is believed to be the oldest extant instrument bearing the name of William Knabe alone. Knabe was a famous piano builder in Baltimore during the 19th Century.

George Eggert and Charles Bobbeth, ca. 1857-60 made the second rectangle grand in the collection. It is the only known surviving piano from the Eggert and Bobbeth partnership. A third rectangle grand is also a Knabe though of later vintage dating from ca. 1885. The collection is rounded out by a 1927 Steinway grand piano.

Dr. Wesley Roberts, professor of music, gave a dedication concert on the newly-rebuilt Steinway in the collection March 22.

He played works by French composers with anniversary dates this year: Claude Debussy (150th anniverary of his birth), Jacques Ibert (50th anniversary of his death), and Olivier Messiaen (20th anniversary of his death).

His wife, Sida Roberts, joined him for the last selection on the program, Amy Beach’s “Summer Dreams” for piano duet.

The Farrar couple attended the piano collection dedication.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is

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