TAC receives $40,000 grant

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Troy Arts Council has received a $40,000 Daniel Foundation Grant with a dollar for dollar match toward the purchase of a $138,000 Steinway & Sons Model “D” Concert Grand piano.

Dr. John Jinright, TAC presenter chair, said the arts council is in desperate need of a new concert grand piano.

“The one at Troy University that we’ve borrowed for 40 years is in poor condition and parts are no longer available,” Jinright said. “We’ve tried renting one for the Chris O’Reilly concert but at $3,000 average cost per rental for each event, it doesn’t make sense. We’re going to buy the best because this community and our children and grandchildren deserved nothing less.”

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The piano selected by the TAC is handcrafted, involving more than 12,000 specific parts assembled by 450 people.

“Steinway & Sons is dedicated to the idea of making each individual piano the finest in the world,” Jinright said. “Each Steinway grand piano takes nearly a year to create. Only 2,500 Steinway grand pianos are created each year in America and, of those, only 500 are nine-foot concert grand pianos. The lifespan of these instruments can reach 100 years with regular maintenance and care.”

Jinright said, with a new concert grand on stage, the TAC will be able to attract top artists that previously have been unapproachable.

“Most famous musicians that use pianos specify Steinway and it’s been a sticking point for our programming for several years,” he said. “We want the John M. Long School of Music to use it for their recitals and concerts because they’ve let us help wear out their piano. Any area musicians and piano students will be able to reserve it through the music office for their concerts, too.”

The Steinway grand piano will be a recruitment tool to attract talented music students to the Troy community. It will also be a magnet for high-profile guest artists and a great recording tool, Jinright said.

“It also reinforces the message that our community loves and supports the arts and recognizes the value of providing creative and performing arts opportunities for the next generation,” he said. “This piano will last beyond a lifetime. It establishes a legacy for our community that will last beyond our years.”

The Hugh Daniel Foundation has agreed to match every donation up to $40,000 in an effort to get the TAC fundraising campaign off to a good start.

“Since 1972, the TAC has been pleased to bring high-quality musical concerts, dance programs and theatrical productions to our area,” Jinright said. “Our concerts have celebrated all kinds of music, showcasing the talents of new musicians just setting out in the careers but also engaging performers who have become world famous.”

Jinright said the support of individuals and local businesses has made it possible for the TAC to keep ticket prices affordable and to continue to expand its educational and outreach programs in local schools.

“We’re asking everyone to continue to support the Troy Arts Council at our Performing Arts Season patron drive in August but this piano purchase is a very important growth opportunity for our community,” Jinright said. “We are looking for special donors who can help with a gift to our piano fund.”

Named sponsorship opportunities are also available for both the grand piano and the 2013-2014 performing arts season. For more information, contact the TAC at 670-2288 or Jinright at 566-6789.