You may not notice the piano at Staples’ Candlelight Concerts next weekend — but the singers and musicians sure will.
A fund drive to raise $30,000 for a new Yamaha C3 grand piano — in honor of now-retired choral director Alice Lipson — has borne fruit. The old one was used for every Candlelight Concert, musical performance, Players production and — for good measure, music class — for years. It played out its string.
Fran Southworth and Dave DeVoll headed up a Staples Music Parents Association fundraising effort. “We desperately need a new piano!” is not an easy sell, but the money finally came in.
The final piece was a luncheon/recital in late September. Westporter Frederic Chiu — a nationally renowned classical pianist — was the featured performer.
Buying a grand piano is a bit more intricate than a scarf, or even an SUV. The instrument needed custom voicing work done at the New York factory. With tone quality regulated and improved, the new piano is now up to professional concert level.
This far exceeds the average “educational” piano found in most schools. Then again, the Staples music program far exceeds the average too.
A humidifier system has been installed in the piano — very important, during the dry days of winter.
The piano debuts next Friday and Saturday (Dec. 10 and 11), at the Candlelight Concerts. This is the 70th anniversary of that prestigious event.
With luck — and loving care — Staples’ grand piano will be around for 69 more.
(Anyone [including non-parents] interested in joining the Staples Music Parents Association should email firstname.lastname@example.org, and/or go to the next meeting: Tuesday, Jan. 11, 7:30 p.m. in the Staples orchestra room.)