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#1897316 - 05/15/12 11:39 AM $600K grant helps U. of Kentucky buy 18 high-tech pianos
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5282
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Just passin' this on ...

http://www.kentucky.com/2012/05/14/2187499/600k-grant-helps-uk-buy-18-pianos.html


Everett McCorvey announced to a crowd in the University of Kentucky's Schmidt Vocal Arts Center on Monday morning that "the Phantom" would be accompanying soprano Rebecca Farley in a song.

With McCorvey's penchant for theatrics, it was tempting to look around for a black-caped, white-masked man to swoop into the room. But instead, the piano simply started to play — moving keys and pedals — with no one on the bench as Farley sang Think of Me from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical The Phantom of the Opera.

The instrument was one of 18 new Yamaha pianos, some with technology that allows them to play themselves like the one accompanying Farley, bought for the UK College of Fine Arts through a $600,000 grant to the Lexington Opera Society.

The purchase included 13 Disklavier pianos that incorporate digital technology that allows the instruments to record performances and even manipulate those recordings. UK is now the biggest academic owner in the world of those sorts of Yamaha pianos.

"People in this town step forward to make things happen," McCorvey said.

The grant was a combination of a $300,000 donation from the W. Paul and Lucille Caudill Little Foundation and matching money from an anonymous donor.

Speaking on behalf of the Lexington Opera Society, former Lexington Mayor Pam Miller said, "So we own the pianos. Should we give them to UK?" She then giddily handed the piano ownership papers to UK's fine arts dean, Michael Tick.

The pianos have actually been at UK for a few weeks, and Cynthia Lawrence, who holds the endowed chair in voice at UK, said they have already been changing the way she teaches.

"It's an amazing tool," Lawrence said. The digital technology allows her to work more directly with students and hold classes and sessions, she said, even when accompanists are not available.

"We're spread so thin," said vocal coach and accompanist Nan McSwain. "We can't always get to every student's class, so this is great when we can record an accompaniment and take it with them."

Neither she nor fellow coach and accompanist Tedrin Blair Lindsay said they felt threatened by the technology.

"You still need someone to play it originally," said Lindsay, who is a contributing culture critic for the Herald-Leader. "It's just a more efficient use of our time."

That extends to features such as the digital piano's ability to change musical keys with a simple command.

But in performance and the most vital rehearsals, the accompanists said, singers will still want a human being.

"The computer doesn't know when you're having a hard time and need an extra moment to take a breath," McSwain said. "But we do."

Lawrence said she thinks the new pianos will be a helpful recruiting tool for prospective students.

"We don't have the best facilities for a music school," said Lawrence, echoing an often-heard complaint about UK's aging fine arts building, on Rose Street at Patterson Drive. "But when new students see this, they will get the feeling that this is the school with upscale, modern equipment."
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#1899231 - 05/18/12 12:57 PM Re: $600K grant helps U. of Kentucky buy 18 high-tech pianos [Re: Dave Horne]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5282
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
... a little more information ...

http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/715670

Marked by a dynamic ceremony celebrating the delivery of an exquisite new fleet of Yamaha pianos, The School of Music in The University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts has procured the largest, one-time acquisition of Disklavier performance reproducing pianos in academia anywhere in the world. The ceremony took place on Monday, May 14, 2012 at the Schmidt Vocal Arts Center.

Other institutions of higher learning that own Disklaviers include: Brigham Young University, The Juilliard School, Southern Methodist University, Louisiana State University, University of California, Los Angeles, University of Kansas, Yale University, Oberlin College, The University of Miami, Wayne State College, Texas Christian University and The University of Georgia.

UK’s acquisition consists of 18 new Yamaha pianos, including two AvantGrand N3 hybrid pianos, two T118 47” acoustic upright studio pianos, three T 121 48” acoustic upright studio pianos and 11 DC2E3 5’8” Disklavier conservatory grand pianos. The instruments will support the program’s demanding performance, practice and rehearsal needs.

“With this purchase of Disklavier and AvantGrand pianos, The University of Kentucky will be propelled onto the international stage as a major institutional user of these remarkable instruments,” said Mike Bates, Senior Consultant for Yamaha Corporation of America’s Institutional Solutions Group.

The Disklavier is a special acoustic piano fitted with a sophisticated system of sensors that record every aspect of a performance, including pitch, dynamics, phrasing and pedaling. The performance information can be stored on a hard drive and recalled for a later performance. The latest model of Disklaviers can be connected to one another via the Internet. Once connected, the performance information can be transmitted from one instrument to the others – and be immediately reproduced with perfect precision, even on the other side of the globe.

The dedication included spirited performances by the students and faculty of UK Opera Theatre. Students serenaded their new Disklavier grands with a performance of “It’s A Grand Night for Singing,” from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, State Fair. “Think of Me,” from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, showcased the Disklavier’s “player piano” capabilities, in essence, providing a “phantom accompanist.” Rebecca Farley, Senior Voice Major at the University of Kentucky, was the featured Soprano.

“UK Opera Theatre now joins the pantheon of elite opera programs reconfiguring their curriculum to meet the needs of students in the 21st century,” said Everett McCorvey, D.M.A. Executive Producer, UK Opera Theatre, Professor of Voice and Lexington Opera Society Endowed Chair in Opera Studies. “This exceptional fleet demonstrates our commitment to providing the finest instruments possible to support and inspire our talented students and staff.”

The event also featured captivating demonstrations of how the instruments’ sophisticated recording and playback capabilities, as well as Internet Connectivity, will enhance the University’s collaborative and educational curriculum for music theory and harmony and ear training, as well as distance learning, via Yamaha RemoteLive and Remote Lesson Technology.

This purchase was made possible thanks to a matching grant by the W. Paul and Lucille Caudill Little Foundation. The Lexington Opera Society secured the grant from the Little Foundation and Henderson Music Company of Covington and Lexington provided support in facilitating the units. The $300,000 foundation grant was matched by an anonymous donor, resulting in the purchase of the Yamaha pianos totaling $600,000. The project was initiated by the current campaign to raise capital dollars to renovate the Schmidt Vocal Arts Center, home of UK Opera Theatre.

To learn more about Yamaha’s Institutional Solutions Group, contact Mike Bates at mbates@yamaha.com or 714-522-9210.

For more information about Yamaha products, write Yamaha Corporation of America, P.O. Box 6600, Buena Park, CA 90622-6600; call (714) 522-9011; email infostation@yamaha.com; or visit http://www.yamaha.com.

About Yamaha

Yamaha Corporation of America (YCA) is one of the largest subsidiaries of Yamaha Corporation, Japan and offers a full line of award-winning musical instruments and sound reinforcement products to the U.S. market. Products include: Yamaha acoustic, digital and hybrid pianos, portable keyboards, guitars, acoustic and electronic drums, band and orchestral instruments, marching percussion products, synthesizers, professional digital and analog audio equipment, Steinberg recording products and Nexo commercial audio products. YCA markets innovative, finely crafted technology products and musical instruments targeted to the hobbyist, education, worship, professional music and installation markets.


Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/5/prweb9515637.htm

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/715670#ixzz1vF1EzVhk
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#1899269 - 05/18/12 02:12 PM Re: $600K grant helps U. of Kentucky buy 18 high-tech pianos [Re: Dave Horne]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2426
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
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#1899270 - 05/18/12 02:14 PM Re: $600K grant helps U. of Kentucky buy 18 high-tech pianos [Re: Dave Horne]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3102
Loc: Oregon
I wish I had teeth as well-preserved as that! wink
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#1899273 - 05/18/12 02:18 PM Re: $600K grant helps U. of Kentucky buy 18 high-tech pianos [Re: Dave Horne]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2426
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Yes. It's not me. I'm a fugitive on the run from all international law enforcement agencies so I can't share my image. Unless you pay me some money. Anyway, having read the fascinating information, especially the "About Yamaha" bit, I'm all fired up to go and study some train timetables (if I can stand the excitement).
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#1899283 - 05/18/12 02:26 PM Re: $600K grant helps U. of Kentucky buy 18 high-tech pianos [Re: Dave Horne]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3102
Loc: Oregon
_________________________
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:
http://www.amazon.com/author/richardspanswick

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#1899284 - 05/18/12 02:27 PM Re: $600K grant helps U. of Kentucky buy 18 high-tech pianos [Re: Dave Horne]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2426
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Yes! That's me!
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#1899321 - 05/18/12 03:49 PM Re: $600K grant helps U. of Kentucky buy 18 high-tech pianos [Re: Dave Horne]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5282
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
I apologize for boring everyone.

There have been discussions in the past about the AvantGrand in university situations and I posted these articles since I received a Google News alert.

I'll wait until we have another discussion of burning in headphones or the esoteric qualities of extremely expensive speaker cables before I post any photos. smile

As you were.
_________________________
website

mp3\wav files

AvantGrand N3, CP5

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#1899330 - 05/18/12 04:05 PM Re: $600K grant helps U. of Kentucky buy 18 high-tech pianos [Re: Dave Horne]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3102
Loc: Oregon
No need to apologize, Dave. Steve and I were just being cheeky. The information may indeed be of value to others, particularly those in higher education.
_________________________
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:
http://www.amazon.com/author/richardspanswick

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#1899331 - 05/18/12 04:06 PM Re: $600K grant helps U. of Kentucky buy 18 high-tech pianos [Re: Dave Horne]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2426
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
I'll wait until we have another discussion of burning in headphones or the esoteric qualities of extremely expensive speaker cables before I post any photos. smile


You got me there - I fully deserved that!
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