News & Events
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Dec 7th, Friday at 10:30am
With town officials followed by a reception all are welcome
GRAND OPENING Clark Music and The Hellert Studio
Dec 8th, Saturday at 1 to 4pm
Now sharing space with Clark Music in Clifton Park Center Mall
Food And Fun
A PBS Documentary Presentation
Arts & the Mind explores the vital role the arts play in human development during both youth and older age, and shares stories and cutting edge scientific research on how music, dance, painting, poetry and theater markedly improve well-being at both ends of life.
RMS Titanic: Five Steinway Pianos for the Ages
During the early 20th century, pianos by Steinway & Sons were filling concert halls from Europe to the United States with brilliant sounds in some of the most memorable musical triumphs of their time.
By a remarkably merciless twist of fate, Steinway also bore witness to the greatest trans-Atlantic tragedy when, on April 15, 1912, the maiden voyage of RMS Titanic ended in icy waters southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland.
Five Steinways from the Hamburg factory were brought on to the ship in mid-March of that year, designated for First and Second Class. All were ordered through Steinway & Sons of London, according to Steinway archives, with serial numbers indicating the immortalized instruments shipped between March 15 and May 12, 1911. "Four of the five Titanic Steinway pianos were ordered ‘raw’ or ‘rough,’ meaning that they became art cases after they were shipped to London," explains David R. Kirkland, Administrator for Customer Service at Steinway & Sons in Long Island City. Once all finishing touches were added, the pianos were put in place as Titanic departed from the English port city of Southampton on April 10.
Steinway records show the fifth piano – an oak K upright – was one of two Model Ks sold to Harland & Wolff in Belfast, the same name and place as the shipyard where Titanic and her sister luxury liners, RMS Olympia and HMHS Britannic, were constructed between 1909 and 1914.
Two Model R uprights and a Model B Drawing Room Grand piano selected to entertain First Class passengers “were the zenith of 20th century piano culture," says Rebekah Maxner, an avid researcher, musician and author from Nova Scotia who maintains a passionate interest in all things musically related to Titanic. The Model B was formerly called “Parlor Grand" in the late 19th century.
"Titanic was designed to impress, and the pianos played their part to appeal aesthetically to the great expectations of the contemporary world’s wealthy travelers," she writes in her blog, Titanic Piano.
All three First Class Steinway pianos were to be customized according to the ship’s specifications. Craftsmen added rich appointments to match the Steinways with their luxurious surroundings, creating showpieces to be appreciated equally for eye-appealing sight as well as uniquely distinctive sound.
One of the Model R uprights was situated in the Boat Deck entrance of the Grand Staircase, with the other positioned in the Dining Saloon on D Deck. The Model R had a Victorian case style, and was two inches taller than the Model K. Production in Hamburg of the Model R was discontinued in 1942, according to Mr. Kirkland.
Titanic’s D Deck was also home to what Ms. Maxner hails as Steinway’s crown jewel -- the 6’10.5" Model B Drawing Room Grand piano that as some could imagine, assumed a commanding presence in the Reception Room.
Ordered from the factory without veneer, legs or lyre, Steinway documents indicate the Model B was one of three pianos sold to A. Heaton & Co., an interior decorating firm based in London.
With mahogany veneers offset by other exotic woods, "the grand was the crowning glory of Titanic’s pianos, a showcase of workmanship as it stood out against the white Jacobean walls of the Reception Room," she writes.
In a recent article for the Clavier Companion, Ms. Maxner noted that performance venues in the First and Second Class were located in areas where the music would carry throughout the ship, and the Steinway pianos were installed in those places.
The Model K uprights were chosen for Titanic’s "Second Class" – a misnomer of distinction in musical parlance, as both were considered instruments of exceptional quality.
Located in the entrance foyer on C Deck, one of the pianos boasted a French finish that was applied after delivery, to ensure the wood stain on the piano matched the décor of the entrance hall, according to Ms. Maxner.
Stationed in the Dining Saloon on D Deck, the other instrument had a different cabinet to distinguish it from factory-built Model Ks, which Mr. Kirkland says have a 20th century look in the Sheraton case style. He adds the Model K remains in production to this day.
Asked to speculate on the fate of the five Titanic Steinways, Mr. Kirkland had this to say: "The pianos were fastened securely to the ship’s floors. When the Titanic submerged, the piano’s keys, hammers and hinged components suspended due to the buoyance of the wood. Although glues dissolve and metals corrode, at the bottom of the ocean amidst the wreckage there probably lie remnants that bear the name of Steinway & Sons. I believe it to be inevitable one day that something will be raised."
There is one certainty that remains in the 100 years since the iconic luxury liner came to rest at the bottom of the North Atlantic, ever since the company’s founding in 1853: Steinway remains dedicated to making the best pianos in the world.
Music Merges at Clifton Park Center
Clark Music pianos and the teaching studios of Dianne Hellert and Kniskern House of Music will all be sharing space at Clifton Park Center as of December 1st.
CPC owner, Don Greene, who plays a Steinway, came up with the idea when Hellert’s lease was about to expire at one of his other properties on Route 146. Clark Music’s owner Hugh Murphy was looking for a way to reduce overhead, and the Kniskern Music House was also ready to move from a building on Route 9. The combined facilities will go by the names of Clark Music and The Hellert Studio.
Clark Music, founded in 1859, is the authorized Upstate New York dealership for Steinway & Sons. Their customers include Proctors Theatre, SPAC, Troy Music Hall, three dozen colleges, and thousands of families who have purchased quality instruments.
Dianne Hellert received her undergraduate degree from Capital University, Columbus, Ohio in piano and voice; she received her masters degree from SUNY/Potstdam, Crane School of Music which made an historic purchase of 141 new Steinway pianos from Clark Music in 2007. She has taught music in grades K-12 in the public schools for 8 years, maintained her private studios for over 25 years, is a certified Yamaha music instructor, is currently instructing 70 students, and supervising twelve additional teachers with degrees from Juilliard to Berklee School of Music.
Private instruction will be available in piano, violin, viola, cello, voice, flute, guitar, drums, and musical theatre. Hellert expects to double her current student enrolment to 400 within one year.
For more information, call 669-4188 and go to www.hellertpianostudio.com.
Clark Music pianos and Dianne Hellert’s piano studio, The Hellert Studio, will be sharing space at the Clifton Park Center Mall as of December 1st.
The mastermind of this merger was Don Greene, Clifton Park Center Mall owner. Clark Music and The Hellert Studio needed new facilities and the merger was the solution.
Clark Music, founded in 1859, is the authorized upstate New York dealer for Steinway & Sons pianos. Their customers include Proctors Theater, SPAC, Troy Music Hall, colleges and the thousands of families who have purchased their quality instruments.
Private instruction will be available in piano, voice, violin, viola, cello, flute, guitar, drums, and musical theatre. The Hellert Studio expects to double the current enrollment to 400 within one year.
For more information, call (518) 669-4188 and website: www.hellertpianostudio.com . Instrumental rental and sales will be available.
SAINT ROSE TO BECOME AN “ALL-STEINWAY SCHOOL”
College Replacing 30 Pianos with Industry’s Finest,Gains Use of Steinways from 2012 Chautauqua Institution Season
ALBANY (September 5, 2012) -- The College of Saint Rose today announced an initiative to become an “All-Steinway School,” joining an elite group of colleges and conservatories that provide students with pianos built or designed by Steinway & Sons, known throughout the world as the industry’s finest.
Saint Rose intends to replace as many as 30 pianos with new Steinways and Steinway-designed Boston and Essex pianos. To achieve the All-Steinway School designation, 90 percent or more of the acoustic pianos in the College’s inventory must be built or designed by Steinway and placed in the performance spaces, piano teaching studios, practice rooms and classrooms.
Saint Rose will take the first step toward the All-Steinway School designation through participation in the “Steinway & Sons Festival Piano Placement Program.” Eight Steinway and Boston pianos used at the renowned Chautauqua Institution during the recently completed 2012 season will be placed with Saint Rose for the 2012-13 academic year. Saint Rose recently purchased two new Steinway pianos. In 2013, Saint Rose will receive a placement of six pianos used at summer festivals while purchasing two more new ones. Over the course of the five-year program, the College will have purchased 10 new Steinway pianos and be well on the way to achieving “All-Steinway School” status.
Upon becoming an All-Steinway School, Saint Rose will join a select group of more than 140 colleges, universities and conservatories worldwide that have earned the prestigious designation, including the Oberlin Conservatory, Curtis Institute and Yale School of Music. The designation demonstrates the College’s dedication to musical excellence and to providing students and faculty with the best equipment possible for the study of music.
“Becoming an All-Steinway School is the highest level of commitment to excellence and the future that a college can make to its music students and faculty, and it’s our way of showing that Saint Rose embraces the utmost in quality,” said Saint Rose President Dr. David Szczerbacki.
Enrollment in the College’s music programs has more than doubled over the past dozen years, from 89 undergraduates in 1999 to nearly 300 undergraduate and graduate students and music minors in 2011. Becoming an All-Steinway School benefits more than just piano students.
“All music students must practice piano for a minimum of one hour per day to fulfill the two-year core course requirement. The All-Steinway initiative will complete the College’s mission of becoming one of the best music programs in the nation,” said Dr. Robert Hansbrough, chair of the Music Department.
The new pianos will fill the Massry Center for the Arts, the College’s critically acclaimed venue that features the 400-seat Kathleen McManus Picotte Recital Hall, Esther Massry Art Gallery, choral and instrument rehearsal rooms, teaching studios, practice rooms and classrooms.
According to Steinway & Sons, one piano takes nearly a year to make, involving more than 12,000 individual parts. The woods used to make the rims, tops, soundboards and actions cure for months in Steinway’s yard, kilns and conditioning rooms until they stabilize at a strictly specified moisture content.
“Steinway & Sons is delighted that The College of Saint Rose has entered into this All-Steinway School initiative. With our deep American roots and shared commitment to excellence on every level, a partnership between Steinway & Sons and The College of Saint Rose is very appropriate,” said Sally Coveleskie, Steinway & Sons national director, institutional sales.
More than 1,600 prominent concert artists and ensembles across the world hold the prestigious title of “Steinway Artist.” Dr. Young Kim, who coordinates the Saint Rose piano program, is one of them.
“I am excited over the prospect of watching our students discover new sounds and develop new competencies thanks to these superb instruments,” said Kim.
Currently, Saint Rose owns 43 pianos in its performance, practice and classroom spaces. The All-Steinway School initiative will replace 30 pianos at a cost of approximately $600,000. The College intends to move forward with its initiative while it seeks private donations for the pianos.
The State University at Oneonta has just upgraded their piano inventory with the purchase of four new Steinway studio uprights pianos.
Orlando Legname, Chair of the Music Department, his staff and technician Eric Mazarak, concluded from their research that the high quality and superiority performance of these Steinway pianos, still manufactured in New York, far outweighed their higher cost than all the other instruments available on the market.