LM rededicates restored Steinway
MANDATA - A Steinway Grand Piano purchased in 1964 for Mahanoy Joint High School was rededicated Sunday, the culmination of the $20,000 Ebony and Ivory fundraising project.
Several pianists performed on the Steinway during Line Mountain Council of the Arts and Humanities' annual Christmas concert, "Ebony and Ivory - A Christmas Dedication."
Respects were paid to the late Helen Spotts, a former music director at what is now Line Mountain School District who was instrumental in having the grand piano purchased nearly 50 years ago.
Restorers Nathan Baldwin and William Koble spoke briefly about the restoration. The project took about 200 hours over the course of one year. Extensive refinishing was done to the piano's case.
"It didn't really exhibit what we would call high school damage," he told the audience, describing that as student inscriptions on the piano, damage from misuse, spills from soft drinks.
Instead, it was worn down both from years of use and from being moved around, with damage comparable with "what you would see in a concert hall."
The piano is now worth an estimated $50,000. New Steinway pianos retail for about $85,000.
Judith White, arts council representative, directed the 41-member adult chorus during the concert and also performed on the piano. She was equally thrilled that the arts council met its fundraising goal and that so many pianists had the chance to perform on the piano on Sunday.
She, too, spoke of Spotts and her influence many years ago.
"It's a neat opportunity to recognize Helen Spotts who is the one who spearheaded the whole campaign to buy it," White said.
"It's a real treasure and there are no other public schools in this area that have a Steinway," she said. "It's something that we hope will serve many generations after us."
Along with an adult chorus, the concert featured performances from a children's ensemble, Toy Soldiers ensemble, a horn duet by Christine and Nathan Sanders, and a trumpet choir.
Performing during the piano recital portion of the concert were Rosanne Carson and Harold Morgan, both retired teachers; Judy Updegrove, a private piano and Kindermusik instructor; Diane Rompallo, a general music teacher; Carol Hubler, former music teacher; Galen Deibler, professional pianist and Susquehanna University professor emeritus; Diane Scott, professional pianist, and White, a voice teacher at Susquehanna University. Larry Fisher, middle and high school music teacher and band director, performed on saxophone.