Keene State College has purchased four state-of-the-art Steinway & Sons pianos, completing its first step toward becoming New Hampshire’s first “All-Steinway School.”

A fleet of 18 pianos was loaned to the college this school year through the Steinway & Sons Festival Replacement Program, which allows conservatories, colleges and universities to use pianos from major music festivals during the festival off-season. Keene State plans to purchase part of the fleet each year until it owns all of its pianos, college officials said in September.

At that point, the college would receive the “All-Steinway School” designation, said Kelly Ricaurte, college spokeswoman. No other college or university in New Hampshire has done so.

A total of 349 Keene State students used the loaned festival pianos over the past several months, she said.

Heather Gilligan, chairwoman of the college’s music department, said in September that Keene State’s previous inventory of pianos was aging and in need of costly upkeep.

The newly purchased pianos were bought through Keene State’s All-Steinway, All Together campaign, a fundraising initiative launched to help finance the program. According to Ricaurte, the purchase was supported by donations from the Putnam Foundation, the Douglas Company and an anonymous alumnus.

The loaned pianos have been removed from campus for the summer festival season, but 14 more will be delivered to the college before the start of classes in the fall, according to Ricaurte. Fundraising is underway for the purchase of four additional pianos in the next phase of the program, she said.

Additional information is available at www.keene.edu/featured/steinway/.

Meg McIntyre can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1404, or mmcintyre@keenesentinel.com. Follow her on Twitter

@MMcIntyreKS.