New Steinway and Percussion Suite in FAC: From Shipping Crate to Perfection
The two grand pianos from the FAC rehearsal hall and the FAC Recital Hall were moved to the two new rehearsal halls. This left the FAC Recital Hall without a professional caliber instrument, so plans to remedy that were undertaken. A piano selection committee consisting of Mitzi Groom (department head), Donald Speer (piano professor), Alesia Speer (adjunct piano instructor) and student Lindsey Byrd (freshman from Princeton, KY) traveled with John Gist, representative from Gist Music in Louisville, to the Steinway Factory in New York City. The rambling 90-building Steinway Factory has been the home to these great pianos since the latter half of the 19th century, even establishing a community for its workers, called Steinway Village.
Piano selection committee members, Groom, Speer, and Byrd with Steinway safety goggles used during the factory tour
Prior to the 2-hour selection process, the committee toured the factory, visiting all areas of the craft, seeing the entire process of building a piano from the raw wood, to the veneer, to the rim-bending process, the piano action, string dampers, sound board and pedal lyre installation, to the finishing room final tuning. The 1,000 pound Steinway grand piano was delivered to Gist Music in Louisville in February.
Uncrated grand piano at Gist Music
Pending the construction completion in FAC, Gist Music was gracious enough to keep this piano until the FAC Recital Hall was ready to accept it. It was delivered on May 15, 2012, and will be ready for the 2012-13 concert/recital season.
Setting up Steinway grand piano on FAC Recital Hall stage
New piano in FAC Recital Hall
Renovation has also been completed in the old rehearsal room of FAC, resulting in a new percussion suite and sound lock doors on the FAC Recital Hall. The percussion suite includes a teaching studio, 5 individual percussion practice rooms, and a large percussion ensemble rehearsal space. The practice rooms on the third floor of FAC underwent an upgrade that included affixing acoustical panels to the inner walls of all rooms, and new tile flooring is to be completed this summer in all hallways on the first three floors of the FAC. Students will be coming back to school in August to wonderful spaces for learning and making music.
Percussion ensemble room in renovated FAC Percussion Suite