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UPDATE: Concert to raise money to fix the Hearst Center’s piano a success; donations still needed

UPDATE - March 5, 2020:

KWWL has learned from Kelly Parker that the March 1 piano concert was a great success in raising money to repair the Hearst Center's piano.

The event raised $1469, and Friends of the Hearst will extend their match all the way to $2500. So, in total, the event raised just under $4000, and the total headed to repair the piano is now at over $7000.

According to Parker, the goal for the sound board and action repairs/adjustments is $20,000, so donations are still needed. They can be made by check (payable to the Hearst Center for the Arts with "piano" in the memo line) or by phone at 319-273-8641.

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Original story - February 17, 2020:

WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) - Two local pianists will come together for an afternoon of music March 1 to help raise money to repair the piano at the Hearst Center for the Arts.

Local composer and owner of Mozart's Place Piano Studio, Jean Hilbert, will perform original compositions and arrangements of popular hits. Kelly Parker of Grace Note Piano Studio will play works by Beethoven, Chopin and more.

Hilbert, who is also the current president of Northeast Area Music Teacher's Association, explains why the piano at the Hearst Center is so important:

"The Hearst Center’s Steinway D was purchased in 1989 by the Cedar Falls Art and Culture Board for use by the community and for musical performances. The piano was originally built in 1957, and was refinished by Lundak Piano in Traer, Iowa before delivery to the Hearst. The piano was purchased for only $13,000, but today is valued for far more. It is a highlight for performers both local and from afar. The Hearst staff receives comments on a regular basis with regards to how wonderful it is to play. Patrons often ask if they can spend some time in Mae Latta Hall playing the piano, which fills the galleries with wonderful, unexpected music from time to time. On a more regular basis, students and teachers practice and perform and visiting musicians play concerts. It is a beautiful instrument that our community is lucky to have!"

And Parker says piano students deserve an outstanding instrument to learn and play on:

"The Hearst Center exists to give our community a chance to experience and enjoy the arts, especially music. I appreciate that they allow local music teachers to use their beautiful Steinway for student workshops and recitals. Their piano is aging and needs some repairs to its sound board and keyboard action so it can play and sound its best. The students work hard to master their pieces. They deserve to play an instrument that will make their music come to life, with full, rich tone throughout the mid and upper registers. They need an instrument with sensitive keys so they can play expressively. I want that for them and for our community. That's why we wanted to do this event. The Hearst Center will need thousands of dollars to do the restoration."

The concert will be from 1:30 until 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 1. Freewill donations will be collected and refreshments will be served. The Hearst Center for the Arts is located at 304 W Seerley Boulevard in Cedar Falls.

Let them know you'll be attending by visiting the event Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/473766730004472/

Abby Turpin

Evening Anchor

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