21 Pianos; a giveaway to schools across the region

On 21st February 2017 King’s College Chapel hosted 21 pianos in one of its Chapel Late concerts. The pianos were worth more than £50,000 and were gifted to local schools and institutions across the region in support of music education. Nocturne for 21 Pianos is a collaboration between composer and King’s College Fellow in Music Richard Causton, the Peterborough Centre for Young Musicians (PCYM), King’s College Musical Society and Millers Music.

A reworking of Chopin’s original Nocturnes, the concert saw 21 local young musicians play 21 pianos simultaneously. With the pianos arranged in a large circle in the Chapel, it was both a visual spectacle and an aural extravaganza, with a previous performance reviewed by the Times as “…eerie, ethereal and enchanting.”

Before the concert and giveaway, Richard said: “This is a unique event for King's College Chapel and the sound and sight of 21 pianos in this wonderful space promises to be really memorable. As a child, I studied at the Centre for Young Musicians, and I am very happy that pianists from the Peterborough and Saffron Walden branches of CYM will be joining forces with Cambridge University students for this very special performance. It’s a fantastic chance to play in such an awe-inspiring space.”

500 audience members filled Kings College Chapel and it was truly a unique and inspiring experience. The collaboration with Richard and Kings College Musical Society inspired us to what to do more for the music community and education specifically. We asked schools and institutions from across the region to apply to win one of the twenty-one pianos. By the closing date we had over 270 applicants, we were overwhelmed with the response and Richard and Simon, MD of Millers Music, had the difficult task of picking the lucky twenty-one.

The Winners:

Abacus Early Learning

Bedford Free School

Benjamin Britten Academy of Music

City Academy Norwich

City Singers

Cottenham Village College

Humpty Dumpty Pre-School

Huntercombe Hospital Norwich School

Hylands School

Ixworth Free School

Jane Austen College

Mayfield Primary School

Meadow Primary School

Mighty Oaks

Oakington CofE Primary School

Richmond Fellowship

St Bede's Inter-Church School

St Giles CofE Primary School

Sunflowers Care

Wayland Academy

Information about the pianos:

Each of the 21 Pianos is around 150cm wide, 55cm deep and weighs 175kg. The height of each varies from 105cm to 125cm. As each are different please bear in mind that these measurements are just a guideline and each is a little different. They are all upright pianos, no grand pianos are included in the 21 pianos.

The pianos come with basic castors so they can be moved, but these are not safety castors. Typically safety castors will sit further out at the back and front to make the instrument more stable, but will add about 15cm to the depth of the instrument. These can be fitted for an additional cost of £200 and allow the piano to be moved easily by two people. The standard castors are metal wheels, whereas the safety castors are larger rubber wheels that will not scratch or damage floors.

These are all acoustic pianos, with no electronic systems built in. Given the variety and age of the instruments, silent systems or electronic systems are not available as an additional extra for these. The manufacturers of these pianos include Challen, Spencer, Herman Mayr, Barrett and Robinson, Neumann, and Baldwin. These are mostly English manufacturers from the last 50 years. Each has been tuned, regulated, and checked over by our piano technicians, but as these are second hand or ex-rental instruments there will be the usual signs of wear and tear on the casework that is normal for pianos of this age.

Each piano will be tuned and checked before being delivered, but we recommend they are checked within three months again as keys may stiffen and tuning may change as the piano adjusts to the new temperature and humidity level in it's new home. We then recommend each piano is tuned once every six months to ensure it is kept in good condition.

Our standard price for each tuning is £69 inc VAT, and this includes running repairs and adjustments. If you have several pianos in your school or institution please contact us and we can look at a contract price for maintaining all the pianos on a regular basis.

For any enquiries please contact Adele Scrivener on 01223 354452 or adele@millersmusic.co.uk

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