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Grants for grand pianos

Hi there,
 
I'm a choir director and organist at a small church. While we have a decent pipe organ, our acoustic piano situation is somewhat dire. We have only a couple of electrical keyboards and spinnets. We don't have a grand piano or even a nice upright. 
 
I am wondering if anyone is aware of some sort of grant for which I can apply or any other sort of resource which would put me on the path to getting my church a decent grand or baby grand piano. My church is in the Seattle area.
 
Thanks!
 
Lukas
on September 17, 2013 4:40am
The best source is a music lover in your church. You can get a very nice used upright for 3,000.00. Go shopping for a used grand, get the price- which could be as little as 5,000-8,000.00. Find a music lover in your church to give a lead gift of $1,000.00 or more. The lead gift can go to make a downpayment. Then make it a project everyone can give something to. Give a concert and take an offering for the piano. Make it a yearlong effort if need be. Make a few private approaches. You may find someone who will give the whole amount. Find your dream piano first so you can share the excitement. Announce on Sunday morning that you have found the piano that you think belongs in this sanctuary. Please speak with me after the service if you would consider donating toward a fine piano for the church that will enable us to give concerts and enhance our worship. You'll be surprised how quickly you'll have the piano.
You can do this!

Ben Allaway

Applauded by an audience of 1
on September 17, 2013 5:17am
There are so many people opting for electric keyboards these days that I get offered free pianos several times a year. A friend gave a church an $8000 Kawai for a tax write-off. Try searching craigslist.com.
on September 18, 2013 8:23am
Great suggestions, Ben! In 2003 I found myself organist in the small Creek United Church in rural Quebec where I built up a good size choir, wrote hymns and anthems with the minister (who sang in the choir) and within a couple of years the regular congregation doubled from average 35 on a Sunday, to somewhere around 70, with an overly packed church for special occasions such as Christmas and Easter. The time was ripe...
 
The current organ was an ancient Hallman, which had really done its time; I was bringing my own keyboard (a Yamaha 2100) for both rehearsals and the service. I advanced the notion of getting a decent organ in the church and it was readily accepted. We found several people to commit $1000 - including the organist (important!) - and started an organ fund, and all those things Ben talks enthusiastically about. One thing that really helped clinch the eventual purchase was a no-strings-attached offer from a Rogers organ company agent to lend us an organ free for a couple of months, one of whch included a major church festival – I think it was Christmas – which really encouraged a lot of people and potential donors. Within a few months the congregation had raised the close to $20,000 to purchase it. That brand new two-manual organ (with full pedal board) the company lent us never left the church. God truly works through people. That's the secret!
 
Good luck!
 
Donald
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