A grand piano with a long of tradition in Hope has been given new life in Hempstead Hall at the University of Arkansas Community College in Hope. A 1903 Steinway piano has been restored by the UACCH Foundation after being donated by the Friday Music Club.
The piano was purchased by the club for Hope High School in the 1940′s where it was used for a number of years. Later it was given back to the Friday Music Club and moved to the Carrigan House where it was kept tuned but otherwise continued to deteriorate.
As Hempstead Hall was being constructed the Friday Music Club offered the piano for use in the Grand Entrance Hall of the building with the restoration of the instrument, done by a Little Rock company, paid for by the UACCH Foundation.
Now, not only does the piano have new strings, hammers and a beautifully finished case, it has something that it never had before: a computer controlled automatic player mechanism.
Friday Music Club member Mike Malek says the piano can automatically play thousands of tunes controlled by an iPad for the times when a pianist isn’t available. The automatic player mechanism isn’t noticeable as you look in at the piano’s interior.
Several members of the Friday Music Club were on hand Thursday evening as the restored piano was presented for the first time. Some members remarked how the piano had a much better sound than before. Gaye Morman, Edward Cooper and Bitsy Carter took turns at the keyboard.
Mike and Debbie Malek recently donated $20,000 to the UACCH Foundation as a capital kickoff to purchase that piano and artwork for the building. The goal for the campaign is $100,000.
There will also be an upright piano in the building for use in the conference rooms.
All gifts to this UACCH Foundation campaign are tax-deductible. For additional information or to speak with a committee member, please call the UACCH Foundation at 870-722-8516.