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Steinway Piano Fundraising Project

July 20, 2020

 

Dear Patrons and Friends of Music at Southminster,

I’m here to ask for your help in pursuing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Southminster United Church to procure a new Steinway & Sons Model D, 9-foot Concert Grand piano to enhance its music ministry serving the community of Ottawa.

THE PIANO

The instrument we’re looking at has been in the city for the past few years, serving in various venues as the Ottawa Steinway Gallery’s 9-foot ‘Concert and Artist’ piano, a special designation given to exceptional instruments used by touring pianists seeking the best possible instrument while performing in the capital region. 

The seven-year-old 'C&A-D606' (Concert & Artist serial # D606) has received rave reviews from numerous superb artists. International Chopin Competition laureate Charles Richard-Hamelin describes it "as a marvel, whose pure, golden tone and wide dynamic range makes it an ideal instrument for solo and chamber music alike." Honens International Competition laureate Nicolas Namoradze, who played C&A-D606 at Southminster in recital this past February, adds that "it has one of the most remarkable ranges of pianissimo of any instrument I have ever come across." Both pianist agree that "Southminster, with its wonderful acoustics, would be the perfect home for this gem of an instrument", which is "sure to have a strong and essential presence serving in the musical community of Ottawa for years to come".

THE COST

A rare confluence of factors including current market conditions, the fact that C&A-D606 is not technically a brand new piano, and the unique timing of its retiring from service as a rental instrument during the COVID pandemic are enabling the Steinway Gallery of Ottawa to offer it to us for less than half the cost of a comparable new piano.

In May 2020, the retail cost of a new Model D Steinway rose to $275,600 in part because the stagnation of the market as a result of COVID19. Due also to COVID, this piano is being liquidated now to make room for new models to help the company resume some of its regular business.

As a non-profit organization with a strong track record of serving the local musical community, Southminster has been offered the piano for the unprecedented price of $120,000. While this figure may shock people not familiar with the high-end piano market, this price - coupled with the fact that this particular piano is considered to be an exceptional specimen - represents a bargain, and it may never be available again.

Our total fundraising target, which will cover the purchase price, taxes, delivery, and all other start-up costs, is $130,000, and we need to raise it in six weeks.

THE STEINWAY EDGE

Steinway pianos are well-known for their superb quality, long-lasting value, and leading edge in a highly competitive industry. Obtaining a world-class piano such as C&A-D606 represents natural and needed evolution in the growth of Southminster’s music program.

Southminster will be the only venue in the national capital region outside of the National Arts Centre to house a piano of C&A-D606’s calibre, and its permanent residence in an accessible community venue will be nothing short of a game-changer for the musical community in Ottawa.

WHY NOW?

Because the opportunity has only just arisen and it will not be around for long. 

The Steinway Gallery is under obligation to sell C&A-D606 to clear the way for its next C&A piano, and if Southminster – Steinway’s first choice for its permanent home – does not take it, it will eventually be sold elsewhere, potentially to a private individual or out of the Ottawa area where it will effectively never be seen or heard again.

The timing of this opportunity is perfect in that when live music can finally resume, Southminster’s programming – which has notably not abated in light of COVID19 – will hit the ground running with all the buzz surrounding a fabulous new piano. 

We recognize that COVID has not been an easy time for some, and finances for many will be tight. That said, people looking for a way to support the arts in light of the challenges brought on by a global pandemic may find this a pro-active way to defy the imposed cessation of live musical activity, and do something that will help us emerge from the fog stronger than before.

HOW DO I DONATE?

 

As a registered charity, Southminster United Church can issue charitable receipts for donations to this cause. 

Southminster has set up donation portal through Canadahelps.org through which you can make a donation online at any time. It only takes a minute and your donation will be automatically receipted by Canadahelps. (Note that Canadahelps.org deducts a a small fee from each donation for handling the transaction).

If you prefer to send a cheque, please mail it to Southminster United Church, at 15 Aylmer Ave, Ottawa, K1S 3X1, made out to the church with a note that it for the “Steinway fundraiser”. Donations made directly to the church are not subject to any kind of processing fee and will be charitably receipted at the end of the year (well in time for next year’s taxes).

 

I encourage you to send any questions about the campaign to SouthminsterSteinway2020@gmail.com, and also to share the news with friends and family around the Ottawa area as excited about this development as we are.


Thank you sincerely for your consideration of this project. We will post updates on the progress of this fundraiser.
 

Roland Graham

Director of Music

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