Concordia University Ann Arbor has partnered with Solich Piano & Music Company to establish a Yamaha piano loan program, annually retiring the aged used pianos at CUAA and refreshing the Music Department with brand new instruments.
Last week, the first piano delivery was made and eight Yamaha pianos were given new homes on campus. Concordia students, faculty, and community members will benefit from these new pianos in campus practice rooms, faculty offices, and recital spaces throughout the Kreft Center for the Arts.
On a timed schedule, loan program pianos will “graduate” and be replaced with brand-new pianos, perpetually replenishing the program with new instruments.
This piano loan program is administered by Solich Piano & Music Company, with three locations in Ohio in Cleveland, Columbus, and Boardman. Solich will provide all the product, warranty support, and will also be the host of a public piano fundraising event in March 2021 where the pianos will be available for public purchase.
“Solich Piano is only able to choose one recipient of our renewable piano loan program per major city across the Midwest,” shared Thomas Solich, President of Solich Piano & Music Company. “Our annual donation of fresh new Yamaha pianos will equip CUAA music students to study and practice with the latest piano technology.”
Two stand-out pianos include a Yamaha C3X, which is a 6’1” concert grand that was delivered to the piano studio. This piano joins another grand piano, a Kawai RX2 (5’10”) which was recently received as a gift from a private donor, not part of the loan program.
The other standout piano is a Yamaha Disklavier small acoustic grand on the lower level of Kreft in the voice faculty office. This is a 21st century player piano which interfaces with music technology, including video, music library, recording, and the opportunity for remote lessons.
The following is a list of all the pianos delivered to CUAA as a launch to the loan program with Solich Piano & Music Company:
- New U1 upright in Professor John Boonenberg’s office
- NU1 Hybrid piano in technology lab
- Clavinova in the technology lab
- C3X concert grand in the piano studio
- U3 acoustic in Kreft practice rooms
- Two digitals in Kreft practice rooms
- DCG1 small player grand in voice faculty office
Solich was connected to CUAA by Linda Sproul, Director of Donor and Alumni Relations. Sproul spent 12 years selling pianos at special event sales—including loan programs—all across the country.
Linda says that Thomas Solich plays piano better than anyone else she knows despite being born completely blind, but that didn’t stop him from pursuing a performance degree from the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music.
“Solich was only 22 years old when he opened his first store, and I worked for him for the first year for free because I knew he was going to breathe life into the piano industry, and I wanted to be a part of it,” said Sproul. Readers can learn more about Solich Piano & Music Company here.
Concordia also has a great local partnership with piano dealer Jim King of King’s Keyboard House. King has been involved with Concordia’s music program for the past three decades and will continue to provide support with tuning, appraising, moving, and technical work.
“This loan program is a no-cost, no-risk and has so many great built-in benefits like recruiting high-quality music students, inviting guest artists or clinicians to campus, and creating opportunities for community engagement through concerts and the annual fundraising and piano sale event,” said Sproul.
Aretha Franklin’s Yamaha pianos will remain at CUAA and continue to be a legendary part of the music program.
For those interested in receiving an invitation to the community piano fundraising event in March 2021, contact Linda Sproul at Linda.Sproul@cuaa.edu.
— Rachel Thoms served on Concordia University's Strategic Communications team from 2015-2022. Any inquiries about this story can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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