Blayney's community centre to receive a new grand piano

SING ME A SONG: Michelle Pryse Jones, Paul Toole, Scott Ferguson, Donna Riles and Anton Franze will be happily saying goodbye to the old grand piano in the community centre. Photo: Mark Logan.
SING ME A SONG: Michelle Pryse Jones, Paul Toole, Scott Ferguson, Donna Riles and Anton Franze will be happily saying goodbye to the old grand piano in the community centre. Photo: Mark Logan.

When the Director of the Orange Regional Conservatorium steps in front of a piano, you know that you're going to hear something brilliant.

That's unless the piano is the current grand piano situated on the stage at the Blayney Community Centre.

Purchased by the previous management committee that existed before the current building was constructed, the current piano's age is unknown, and Mrs Riles' contempt for the aged block of timber and steel is very real.

"It's unserviceable, aged, dilapidated and unplayable for any kind of concert or lesson," she said.

"The fact that we've never had a good piano here in Blayney has really limited what sort of musical events that we could bring here."

Thanks to a $39,000 grant from the NSW government's Creative Capital Program a new Yamaha six foot grand piano will be installed on the stage and Mrs Riles said that with one simple purchase the arts in Blayney will be able to grow and develop.

"This is a real boom for the community because it would have been tricky for the community to raise the money alone to do a project like this," she said.

"To have a world-class instrument like this is a real drawcard not only for visiting artists but also for local musicians and students who can aspire for greater things."

When the back leg fell off the piano just before a recent seniors concert the ORC worked with Blayney council to apply for the funding. Now that it's successful, Mrs Riles can see all sorts of new events happening in Blayney.

"We can fit 500 people in the community centre and the acoustics are fantastic so it makes sense to now have solo performances, expand our scholarship programs, HSC exams, choirs, opera and the Orange winter jazz festival could also come out here now that there will be a world-class piano available," she said.

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