Derry Church Piano Committee Recommendation and Invitation

Recently a committee was created to consider if Derry Church needs a new piano for the Sanctuary to better support worship services and music programs. The committee is chaired by Dick Hann and includes Janice Click Holl, Mary Lemons, Dan Dorty, Greg Taylor, Bruce McKinney, and Randy Aires.

Our current Sanctuary piano, a 6 foot 7 inch Yamaha, was generously donated by Margaret Bachman in 2006. It is a good piano that was designed for a living room and not a space the size of our Sanctuary.  If we decide to move forward with a new piano, the Yamaha will be moved to the Chapel where it will really shine in that intimate space.

The committee looked at several options (new and used) and after visiting a Steinway store in November with Shelly Moorman-Stahlman and world renowned pianist Ruth Slenczynska, they unanimously recommended a 2019 Model D Steinway. This 9-foot instrument is designed for use in a larger space and will provide a fuller sound to better support congregational singing, choral anthems, soloists and musical performances. Click here to learn more.

This piano is a unique a first-class instrument. It will be one of, if not the, best piano in central Pennsylvania churches and concert halls. It’s a piano that will attract top musicians for Arts Alive concerts and more.

The committee recommends that the piano, if purchased, be dedicated as the Lee Ann Taylor Memorial Piano. Lee Ann was passionate about music, especially piano, and greatly contributed to music at Derry as an accompanist, bell ringer, and volunteer choir director.

A final decision to purchase the piano has not been made. We have the opportunity to try the new piano in our Sanctuary and to hear feedback from the congregation. At the 10:30 am service on Sunday, Jan 8 you’ll see two pianos on the chancel: our Yamaha and the new Steinway. We’ll sing hymns using both pianos so we can determine the difference between the two, and hear the pianos for preludes, a postlude, and accompanying Amy Yovanovich for anthems.

Come back at 4 pm Sunday, Jan 8 for a recital by Dan Stokes, Dan Dorty, Mary Lemons, and others as they play a range of musical styles and give the piano a workout. Your feedback is welcome and appreciated. Should the way be clear to proceed with the purchase, a fundraising campaign will begin with the goal of raising the total purchase cost of $150,000.

If you have questions about the Steinway, or why it is being recommended, please reach out to Dan Dorty or Dick Hann.