The Big Bend Community College (BBCC) Music Department recently make an announcement to preserve their history as well as make updates to their facilities. The department will be hosting the fundraising event at the Wallenstein Theater. The event will feature the Big Bend Community Orchestra and also, the newly formed Collegiate Singers. They will be performing works on the theme of winter drawn from the last seven centuries.

Based on the announcement, the whole aim of the concert is to actually refurbish the BBCC’s seven-foot Baldwin Concert grand piano. The estimated cost for this project is somewhat around $10,000. BBCC Music Department Director Patrick Patterson mentioned that fixing the piano is a rather good investment for the college. He stated that a used grand piano will cost approximately $50,000. He also added that pianos, like other musical instruments, require tune ups. In a case like this one, he indicated that the piano will be getting a whole new motor, including new strings, felt and hammers. According to him, the piano would have been used more often if it had been in better condition.

The most recent event the piano has been used for was the Fantastics performance. Patrick went on to say that once the piano has been fixed, other big ticket items for the theater, such as a new curtain, will be bought with the raised funds as well. There are quite a decent number of advanced BBCC music students, Columbia Basin Secondary School, Columbia Basin Allied Arts performances and the Community Concert series that make full use of the piano. “We’re taking it on because (BBCC) budgets are tight and this is a chance for all different groups that this piano has played for, to be involved. We’re delighted to realize there is an awful lot of support from the community,” said Patrick. He also mentioned that there has already been donations coming in.

Patricia Dougherty, Columbia Basin Allied Arts executive director, mentioned that the CBAA and the Community Concerts depend on the piano as well as the Wallenstein Theater in general. She is also looking forward to conserving the classic piece and also to update the theater to more modern capabilities. “If we’re trying to bring in current acts, they require certain technical aspects that we need to fund,” she stated. For the rest of the story, you can read it here.

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