Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated)

Posted by: Terrytunes

Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/15/06 10:25 AM

I recently received a message from Pat Frederick advising that a town selectman is considering repossessing the building that currently houses the Frederick’s piano collection.

After a town building went unused for a period of time, the Fredericks sought it out as a location to house their piano collection. A 10-year contract with the town was agreed upon, and the Fredericks assumed responsibility for all building maintenance. Since signing the contract in 2000, the Fredericks have been devoted to the upkeep of the former town library, adding many updates and landscaping the grounds.

Pat & Michael Frederick provide the public a rare opportunity to enjoy the most comprehensive collection of historical (playing) grand pianos in the US. The Frederick piano collection is also a source of musical pleasure during the spring and fall concert season. As a study center, it offers a unique opportunity for those who seek to gain an understanding of these treasured instruments. The Fredericks are well-known for their unselfish contributions of time, money and energy to promote the appreciation and understanding of the collection.

A few town officials are now suggesting the possibility of breaking the previously agreed-upon lease for the center, although the majority of the community will support the Frederick collection as a valued town contribution.

I understand many of you who read this request have never visited the Frederick piano collection but please consider this a cause worthy of your efforts. Please forward a response to the town office in Ashburnham, MA advising the town officials on the importance of the historical piano collection to both their community and to the visitors who travel from afar to view/play their collection.[/b]

The Select Board
Town Hall
Main St
Ashburnham, MA 01430 [/b]

Long live our passion for the piano!
Posted by: John Citron

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/15/06 10:52 AM

Terry,

I received an email from Brian (Reliv4all) about this as well. He was at a concert last week, and Patricia spoke to him about this. He has placed brochures about the museum all over the bulletin boards at New England Conservatory where his son studies piano.

I will be attending a concert today, and I will see what I can do. Perhaps we could:

---- Have a Piano World Petition sent to the town hall. (imagine 14,000 - Plus signatures!)

---- An Piano World Piano Party in Ashburnham.
We could do one of our big bashes, with everyone invited including the public. The only difference would be a big fund raiser as well to help support the museum.

---- I'll try again with public TV. WGBH never responded back, but I have some friends in public radio so perhaps I can get them to help this time. I could help put together a program about the museum and help spread the word. In addition, mentioning what the evil town officials wish to do would maybe scare them out of it.

Anyway these are a couple of ideas that have bounced around my hollow head just now.

I am truely saddened by this, and it really is too bad that these town officials do not realize the value this museum brings to their venue. I am sure if this was a sports museum, they wouldn't think about this!

As visitors, we support the local merchants. I know I do by purchasing stuff at the convenience store. I also end up filling my gas tank before I leave. This is only a small example of what's going back to the town out of this.

There are plenty of empty building in the town, so why don't the officials look into leasing one of those? They don't know how difficult it would be to move this valuable collection elsewhere. I am sure if worse came to worse, the Fredericks could move the collection to Fitchburg, who I am sure would want the added-value and business a venue such as this brings. Fitchburg, and the surrounding mill towns have plenty of empty mills, which make very nice concert halls and museum space.


John
Posted by: Piano World

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/15/06 11:32 AM

Terry,

Are these people nuts? Do they not realize what a wonderful and unique historical collection they have right in their town?

Does the Town Hall / Board have an email address too?

I like John's suggestions, and I agree we should write to the board, but if we had an email address we could also email them.

John... maybe Scott Houston (the Piano Guy) has some connections too.

I have to imagine some of our members are involved in other media too (newspapers, magazines, TV, etc.)

Here is one of the tours I took with a group of our forums members, we had a great time...
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/22/43.html

Seeing, hearing, and playing all those fantastic historical pianos is an experience you don't forget.

Best,

Frank B.
Posted by: Terrytunes

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/15/06 02:17 PM

I'm dashing out of here in a few minutes to attend the last concert for the fall season, so I'll talk to Pat regarding the email.

I'm guessing she had her reasons for requesting a reply of support by snail mail.
Posted by: Terrytunes

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/15/06 09:09 PM

I had a few brief moments after todays concert to discuss further details of Ashburnham politicians with Pat Frederick.

During our discussion Pat agreed that also using email would be as beneficial as forwarding a note through the US Postal Service.

This link will take you to the front page of the Ashburnham website

As you scroll down to view the towns "Culture and Recreation" sights, you can't help but wonder why the Frederick Historical Piano Collection and Study Center[/b] is not listed????!!!!


You'll find an email address for the Town Selectment under, Government, Board of Selectman.

sturcotte@ashburnham-ma.gov

This email address is for Sylvia Turcotte who is the Admin Asst for the selectmen.

Apparently the selectman don't have email addresses!! :rolleyes:
Posted by: lilylady

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/16/06 08:27 AM

More info:
http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/ci_4458050

They are having a meeting tonite. Emails might be in order?

It seems that Whidden is the one proposing the change:
"Jim Whidden, a member of the Town Hall Renovation Committee, has proposed that town officials move some municipal offices into the adjacent Stevens building while the town hall undergoes renovations next year."

Seems that Jonathan Dennehy, who is Chairman of Board of Selectman is running for State Representative, although his term for Chairman is not up until 2007. His email for election is
jmd@dennehy.us

Mark Carlisle (978) 827-5080 21 Water St, Ashburnham, MA 01430 ; Selectman

Christopher Gagnon, could not find address or email, but seems to be supporting the Fredericks

Local Newspaper:
www.sentinelandenterprise.com
Posted by: Piano World

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/16/06 12:02 PM

I've emailed the following letter to Mr. Dennehy...

Dear Mr. Dennehy,

My name is Frank Baxter, I am the founder and owner of Piano World (www.PianoWorld.com), one
of the most popular piano web sites in the world.

It has come to our attention that the town of Ashburnham is considering breaking the lease the Frederick's have
to house their rare and historically significant collection.

We would respectfully ask the town to reconsider this misguided move.

Our 19,000+ piano forums members, and literally millions of visitors are all piano enthusiast.
We appreciate the beauty and and rarity of these incredible instruments.

Many of our members have visited the Frederick's collection (spending money in your fine town when we do).
These are one-of-a-kind irreplaceable pianos, whose historical significance can not be overstated.

There have been many articles written (in newspapers and magazines) about the Frederick's collection and your town.
There have also been many posts on our world famous piano forums, giving glowing reviews of the pianos, the
Frederick's, and the town of Ashburnham.

The collection is truly a national treasure, and should be treated as such.

The old library is the perfect setting for this display, they compliment each other well.
Whenever the collection is mentioned, the town and library are mentioned too, they have become as one.

It would be a travesty to separate the Frederick's collection from the setting everyone now associates it with.

Instead of considering kicking them out of their home, you should be celebrating (and promoting) the unique value
their collection brings to your town.

Please exercise good judgement here, and convince the town to let this musical treasure remain in it's home.
Thank you for understanding, and for doing the right thing.

Sincerely Yours,

Frank Baxter
Founder/Owner
Piano World
www.PianoWorld.com
Home of the World Famous Piano Forums
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php
Posted by: NeilOS

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/16/06 12:27 PM

October 16, 2006

What a lack of foresight, not to mention a dearth of civic pride, to consider disenfranchising the Frederick Historical Piano Collection. Most towns would rally to support this type of collection and promote it as a genuine asset. Shame.

Neil Stannard, DMA
Concet Pianist
Posted by: LisztAddict

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/16/06 12:41 PM

I can't believe how some people could even come up with the idea of shutting down a place like this.
Posted by: Sam Casey

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/16/06 12:51 PM

Here's my letter:

Mr. Dennehy,

It has been called to my attention that your town selectmen are considering making the old library building unavailable to the Frederick Historic Piano Collection. This is a mistake.

The lasting symbol of greatness for any city is how its government supports and facilitates art. The government of Ashburnham has done great credit to itself by creating a home for these rare instruments and allowing the Fredericks to display them with their vast and intimate knowledge. The collection and its guardians are rare and unique treasures. I visited a few years back and was thoroughly enchanted. I also spent money in Ashburnham as a tourist. I have subsequently sent numerous people there who likewise contributed to your local economy. The Collection is a jewel in your community's crown and should remain unmolested indefinitely. In many ways, it has put Ashburnham on the map.

We rarely have a chance to do a verifiably right thing. This is your community's chance to display wisdom, foresight and dedication to a quality of life.


Sincerely,

Sam Casey
Marshfield Missouri.
Posted by: littlePianoGirl

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/16/06 12:57 PM

this is crazy and makes me really sad as i have not gotten a chance to visit yet. i have sent an email to dennehy to ask him to help make sure the place stays where it belongs and that the town should honor their word about the lease contract.
Posted by: IrishMak

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/16/06 01:06 PM

I sent an email, as well. I made sure to point out that, altho the opinion of an out-of-state person may not seem important, those who do travel to Ashburnham usually end up spending money while there, and that is a plus for the town itself. Hey, money talks, especially to a politician, right??? ;\)
Posted by: Piano World

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/16/06 01:10 PM

Great, thanks everyone.
Please keep the emails, snail mail, and/or calls coming. This is important.

One of our members emailed me this...

==================================================
Don't know, but it might help to get emails going right away. Our city council at least reads them and actually reacts to them at times :-)


sturcotte@ashburnham-ma.gov


The above is the city of Ashburnham Selectmen's Administrative Assistants email (Sylvia Turcotte).


Verify it at http://www.ashburnham-ma.gov/ Go to the boxes and on the left is a Selectmen button, click on it and her addy is at the bottom.


Already sent her a note.

===============================================
Posted by: Xav

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/16/06 01:34 PM

someone should write a mail... and then we should all send the same mail with all our different accounts \:D
(i have 3 accounts, hotmail, gmail, and yahoo... xD)

or have signatures... a programmer may know how to make someone enter in certain webpage and sign... then we send them a mail with all the signatures :p

Pianoworld has 19000 members so it wouldnt be difficult to reach a high number of signs... \:\)
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/16/06 01:43 PM

Fortunately or unfortunately, this is a wake up call for the Frederick Collection. Their use of a public building is probably not a viable long run arrangement. If we succeed in getting the town to back off for the moment, there is no guarantee that the lease will be renewed when it expires. Then everything that they have put into the building may be wasted investment.

Local politics can be quite volatile. If the supporters of the Frederick Collection want stability, they may have a breathing space in which to think about acquiring their own building. That way they could tailor its structure to their needs without fearing the consequences of the politics of the moment.


P.S. Xav, PW may have 19K who have signed up over the years, but the number of active members is far smaller.
Posted by: Bosendorfer88

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/16/06 01:45 PM

Just sent an email
What brought such an idea, really!
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/16/06 02:10 PM

Here's my email to Mr. Dennehy,

Dear Mr. Dennehy,

I would like to add my voice to the others who have e-mailed their concerns over the town's potential early termination of the lease that permits the Frederick Collection to use a town building. A collection of usable historical instruments of this sort is a treasure. One aspect of good government is facilitating the development of more resources like this for public use. Unfortunately, the debate over early termination of the lease sends exactly the wrong signal about public commitment to the arts and about public commitment period.

I also note that the Ashburham web site makes no mention of the Frederick Collection under Culture & Recreation. This may be a simple omission, but it can also be interpreted as a sign of what is considered culturally important and what isn't.

I live in Williamsburg. At present we have one historic instrument, a fully restored 1816 Broadwood Piano that is the twin of one sent to Beethoven in Vienna. My thirteen year old son recently had the opportunity to play music of the period on this piano. Like many of the pianos in the Frederick Collection, our Broadwood isn't merely a museum piece. That one experience is such an opportunity for a young musician to understand music in a new way. You have a complete collection of such instruments in your city. Please cherish it, or one day you may awake to find that it has moved elsewhere where it is valued more highly.
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/16/06 02:27 PM

Here's mine:

Dear Ms. Turcotte,

I understand that you are the contact person for the Town Selectmen. Could you please pass on this letter to them?

I am writing because I recently became aware that discussion had taken place regarding a proposal to terminate the lease for the building where the Frederick Historic Piano Collection is currently housed. I hope that your board will reconsider this proposal. Pianos are not easily moved (particularly fragile historic specimens), and being forced to move could very easily mean the dissolution of the exhibition.

I suppose you may wonder why somebody who does not live in the area would care. Although I live in Kentucky, I plan to visit Boston for a conference next spring, and on my travel agenda was a side trip to see these pianos. I would be very disappointed if that opportunity were denied.

It seems strange to me that a city would not take advantage of its unique features. Pretty much any city these days has Walmart, Starbucks, or even art galleries and theaters. Many cities will also have aquariums and science or natural history museums. But how many cities in the United States have a museum of antique pianos? Rather than undermining this collection, all of you selectmen should revel in it and support this very important civic asset.

Yours truly,

Monica Kern
Lexington, KY
Posted by: musdan

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/16/06 02:40 PM

I've never been to the Frederick Historic Piano but would love to visit this great place.

Sent an email just now, hope that all of this interest from in and out of state influences their decision so that we might have the opportunity to see what must be a great museum.

These selectpersons must have their heads in the sand - what in the world are they thinking of?

Posted by: John Citron

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/16/06 03:31 PM

I have sent off my letter of support for the museum. Hopefully Ms. Turcotte's email box isn't too full. (or maybe it is better that it is stuffed with support for the museum). \:\)

John
Posted by: Les Koltvedt

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/16/06 04:03 PM

Hopefully it makes a difference...just sent mine...
Posted by: fabrizio

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/16/06 04:43 PM

This is a very sad issue, I hope really it will work out.

I have sent my e-mail to the above address (sturcotte@ashburnham-ma.gov) as president of Virtual Sheet Music, Inc and with the support of over 75,000 Members and music lovers on our website.

I hope this can help.

If I can help further, I could post a thread on our forums where hundreds of people are browsing every day. I am just asking permission for that.

All the best,
Fabrizio Ferrari
Posted by: RedTop

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/16/06 10:01 PM

The Fredericks certainly deserve our support in their hour of need. I have sent an s-mail to the selectmen and would certainly sign a petition and attend an event to support the museum. They are truly fine people and their work must continue.

Gary
Posted by: Claude

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/17/06 01:02 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Terrytunes:
I recently received a message from Pat Frederick advising that a town selectman is considering repossessing the building that currently houses the Frederick’s piano collection.

After a town building went unused for a period of time, the Fredericks sought it out as a location to house their piano collection. A 10-year contract with the town was agreed upon, and the Fredericks assumed responsibility for all building maintenance. Since signing the contract in 2000, the Fredericks have been devoted to the upkeep of the former town library, adding many updates and landscaping the grounds.

Pat & Michael Frederick provide the public a rare opportunity to enjoy the most comprehensive collection of historical (playing) grand pianos in the US. The Frederick piano collection is also a source of musical pleasure during the spring and fall concert season. As a study center, it offers a unique opportunity for those who seek to gain an understanding of these treasured instruments. The Fredericks are well-known for their unselfish contributions of time, money and energy to promote the appreciation and understanding of the collection.

A few town officials are now suggesting the possibility of breaking the previously agreed-upon lease for the center, although the majority of the community will support the Frederick collection as a valued town contribution.

I understand many of you who read this request have never visited the Frederick piano collection but please consider this a cause worthy of your efforts. Please forward a response to the town office in Ashburnham, MA advising the town officials on the importance of the historical piano collection to both their community and to the visitors who travel from afar to view/play their collection.[/b]

The Select Board
Town Hall
Main St
Ashburnham, MA 01430 [/b]

Long live our passion for the piano! [/b]
Posted by: Terrytunes

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/17/06 11:42 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by fabrizio:
This is a very sad issue, I hope really it will work out.

I have sent my e-mail to the above address (sturcotte@ashburnham-ma.gov) as president of Virtual Sheet Music, Inc and with the support of over 75,000 Members and music lovers on our website.

I hope this can help.

If I can help further, I could post a thread on our forums where hundreds of people are browsing every day. I am just asking permission for that.

All the best,
Fabrizio Ferrari [/b]
Fabrizio... Please don't hesitate to assist in any way possible.


Thanks to all of you who are forwarding a response to the town of Ashburnham.
Posted by: John Citron

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/17/06 12:25 PM

Terry have you heard any updates from Pat? I was thinking about this last night, and hopefully things went well for her and Michael.

John
Posted by: littlePianoGirl

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/17/06 02:32 PM

i have received a reply from Mr. Dennehy and he has pointed out to me that this agreement can be broken IF re-occupation of the building is necessary for a municipal purpose and this can be proven by the town.

i dont see any reason that would ABSOLUTELY have to re-occupy that building again so there is some light here i think.

i realize that even after the ten years, the fredericks might still have to move because the lease might not be re signed, BUT the idea that the whoever wanted to move them out just so that some people can TEMPORARILY move in while another building is being redone is completely absurd. however, the fredericks i am sure have seen the day coming to where the lease as expired and they might get it re-newed, or they might not. but at least they see that date coming and i am sure they have thought about the possibilities and their options at that time. but RIGHT NOW it would be unhonorable (for breaking contract), and also just really low to force them to move when moving the entire collection is so obviously an extrememly difficult task .

anyways, just wanted to let you guys know that these people are reading our emails, and that there is still a chance this will work out and the lease has a chance to go on until it legally expires.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/17/06 02:48 PM

Just because something is "legal" doesn't make it right.
Posted by: Jonathan Dennehy

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/17/06 03:13 PM

Supporters of the Frederick Piano Collection:

My name is Jonathan Dennehy, and I am the Chairman of the Board of Selectmen in Ashburnham, Massachusetts.

I just wanted to drop in and let you know what is going on with the Stevens Memorial Building, which is the home of the Frederick's Collection.

Last night we held a public forum as part of our regular meeting, and invited all interested parties to exchange information and opinions on the proposal presented for the Town to regain possession of the Stevens Memorial Building.

Please note that this proposal was NOT initiated by the Board of Selectmen, but rather by a member of our Town Hall Rennovation Committee. This committee is in charge of studying and implementing a plan to restore our historic Town Hall building that is next door to the Stevens Building.

This proposal was brought forward by Mr. Jim Whidden, the aforementioned member of the Committee. The proposal was in part to address the problem of the temporary relocation of the Town Hall staff during construction.

The meeting that was held last night was not intended to bring definitive action on the proposal, but rather to gain public input on the idea.

There were many members of the public in attendance at our meeting last night, and it seemed to me that the majority of the citizens there were not in favor of relocating the town hall staff into the Stevens Building. The Board of Selectmen voted to send this proposal back to the Town Hall Committee for further study, and we asked them to give us a recommendation.

The Fredericks entered into a ten year lease with the Town six years ago. The lease contained a very liberal provision for the benefit of the town that allowed the town to terminate the lease and regain possession of the building if a municipal purpose were found for the building. This provision is now the focus of that debate.

My personal opinion on this matter is that as a legal matter, although the town could regain possession of the building immediately, that as a matter of morality that action would be a mistake unless that town had no other viable options. The town made a ten year commitment to the Fredericks, and absent an overwhelming countervailing condition that required the town to regain possession that we should honor our commitment for the term of the lease.

The fact of the matter is that there are other cost efficient options for relocating the town hall staff. We need to find out what those options are and employ them.

I do have an appreciation to the cultural and economic value that the Piano museum brings to our community. I have also been made aware of the fact that this collection is somewhat unique not only in America but perhaps throughout the world. I certainly do not profess to know as much about pianos as any of you here, but I can appreciate the historical, cultural and musical value of the pianos and the people the Fredericks attract to play them. I have been in attendance at the Stevens Building for piano concerts and have enjoyed the experience very much.

Politics in small towns can be very interesting, but it is always necessary to separate politics from common sense and what is in the best interest of the community that we serve. I can speak for the entire Board in saying that we all appreciate the value of the collection and will take that into consideration when making decisions that affect the Stevens Building.

Thank you all for your interest in the Fredericks' collection and the Town of Ashburnham!

Jonathan Dennehy
Posted by: Piano World

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/17/06 03:26 PM

Mr. Dennehy,

Thank you for taking the time to personally respond to our concerns (and welcome to the Piano Forums).

As you can probably tell by the posts, and the emails you've received, our group is passionate and enthusiastic about our friends and their collection of rare pianos.

I have received responses literally from around the world, all in support of the Fredericks'.

I would ask that you share the emails (and this post thread) with the members of the committee.

It might help them to realize (as you seemed to have) the importance of this collection, and the benefit it brings to the town of Ashburnham.

I am hoping they are as open minded as you are.

I would be happy to be able to email our 19,000+ members, and posts for our millions of guests, that the town has decided to do the right thing.

Best Regards,

Frank Baxter
Founder/Owner
Piano World
Posted by: lilylady

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/17/06 03:27 PM

My response from Dennehy is below - but it really sounds very political correct. What else is it if not the dollars and cents - to even think of cancelling a lease which does not even come under their own heading of the reasons to do so? (see the newspaper article that I gave above)

I am glad however that they are taking note that the music community is interested, and even responded to a private email.

I wonder how the meeting went last night.

AND WRITE TO THEM, please.
------------


Dear Ms. Brooks:

Thank you for your email and your interest in the Fredericks' Piano Museum. Although I come from a small town, I have lived in many cities across our country and even abroad and I realize that we have a unique cultural asset here in Ashburnham. I have attended concerts in the Stevens Building and have been appreciated the beautiful music created on those pianos.

Please take heart in the fact that although our Board of Selectmen are charged with serving the best interest of the Town of Ashburnham, we are not focused only upon the dollars and cents of this proposal. We are not blind to the cultural and economic benefit that the Museum brings to our area and we will definitely take that into account as we deliberate on this proposal.

Thank you again for your interest in the Fredericks, their Museum and the Town of Ashburnham!

Jonathan M. Dennehy, Esquire
Chairman, Board of Selectmen
Town of Ashburnham
jmd@dennehy.us


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: BB [mailto:lilylady@adelphia.net]
Sent: Tue 10/17/2006 8:31 AM
To: jmd@dennehy.us
Subject: Fw: SUPPORTING PIANO MUSEUM


Copy of a letter that was sent to Sylvia Turcotte this morning.

To:
Sent: Monday, October 16, 2006 8:49 AM
Subject: SUPPORTING PIANO MUSEUM


> To:
> Board of Selectman
> Members of the Community
>
> It has come to my attention that there is some talk of the town taking
> back the building leased to the Fredericks for their Piano Museum. I feel
> that would be a shame. It is the only museum that I know of in USA that
> houses a collection of old grand pianos that are offered as playing
> instruments through tours and recitals.
>
> See:http://www.frederickcollection.org/index.html
>
> It is hopeful that this will be reconsidered. The Fredericks have put a
> lot of time, energy, and monies into making this part of the arts
> available to the far reaching community and have chosen to locate it in
> Ashburnham to your benefit .
>
> Roberta..., music teacher (private info deleted)

EDIT - Seems as though my response was sent about the same time as the post from the Chair of Selectmen about their meeting last night and their concern. We appreciate the info and hope that all things will work out well for your town and the Piano Museum
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/17/06 03:58 PM

Dear Mr. Dennehy,

Thank you for taking the time personally to contact us at PW. I suspect that most of us who sent emails to your office were aware of the contract provisions allowing the town to void the lease. I think you have addressed that issue very effectively in your note to us. You are quite right in noting that the legal ability to void the lease is one thing, but acting on that right would be very unwise absent an overriding need.

If I might be so bold, could you take this crisis as an opportunity to think about longer term strategies for enhancing the relationship between your town and this important collection? Even a ten year lease (with only four remaining) creates quite a bit of uncertainty. A solid long term arrangement would give proper incentives for capital investment in buildings, support systems, and all other areas needed to make the collection better known nationally and internationally.

Yours,

David Feldman
Posted by: Jonathan Dennehy

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/17/06 04:42 PM

In fact, we were in the process of negotiating with the Fredericks on this topic when the proposal to "take back" the building was thrust upon us.

I for one am very open to discussing a long term relationship with the Fredericks for the reasons that I have already stated in addition to the fact that the Fredericks have been an excellent steward of the condition and the historical quality of the building during their tenancy.
Posted by: musdan

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/17/06 07:06 PM

Mr. Dennehy is there a way to cut all the red tape that would allow the Fredierick's to purchase the building?

Both the town, music lovers, and the Fredericks would benefit and ownership of the building would prevent another "event" when their lease ends in a few years with the added value of protecting these valuable pianos.

Something must be done.
Posted by: littlePianoGirl

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/17/06 11:26 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:
Just because something is "legal" doesn't make it right. [/b]
true - but if everything that was legal was right and everything that was right was legal, then this wouldnt even have been a problem to begin with. but thats a whole other story, staying on topic - i hope this works out for the museum =)
Posted by: Sam Casey

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/18/06 01:59 AM

I got this today. Kind of political speak. Not really yes or no.

Dear Sam:

Thank you for your email and your interest in the Fredericks' Piano Museum. Although I come from a small town, I have lived in many cities across our country and even abroad and I realize that we have a unique cultural asset here in Ashburnham. I have attended concerts in the Stevens Building and have been appreciated the beautiful music created on those pianos.

Please take heart in the fact that although our Board of Selectmen are charged with serving the best interest of the Town of Ashburnham, we are not focused only upon the dollars and cents of this proposal. We are not blind to the cultural and economic benefit that the Museum brings to our area and we will definitely take that into account as we deliberate on this proposal.

I personally would add that although I was not on the Board of Selectmen when the original lease was negotiated, drafted and signed, I do believe that in this lease the Town of Ashburnham did make a ten year commitment to the Fredericks. This commitment may be legally broken easily upon the Town showing that the re-occupation of the building is necessary for a municipal purpose. However, I believe that we owe a moral commitment to the Fredericks to only terminate the lease if absolutely necessary, and I have not seen a circumstance yet where it has become absolutely necessary to remove the Fredericks from the Stevens Memorial Building.

Thank you again for your interest in the Fredericks, their Museum and the Town of Ashburnham!

Jonathan M. Dennehy, Esquire
Chairman, Board of Selectmen
Town of Ashburnham
jmd@dennehy.us
Posted by: swingal

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/18/06 03:58 AM

As a non-USA member is there any possibility that PW. and it's dedicated members could provide a financial backing to a long term, new building for this unique collection. You would have my support.

Alan
Posted by: giuseppe

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/18/06 04:42 AM

Mr. Dennehy has reply to me:

"Dear Giuseppe
Thank you for your email and your interest in the Fredericks' Piano
Museum. Although I come from a small town, I have lived in many cities
across our country and even abroad and I realize that we have a unique
cultural asset here in Ashburnham. I have attended concerts in the
Stevens Building and have been appreciated the beautiful music created
on those pianos.

Please take heart in the fact that although our Board of Selectmen are
charged with serving the best interest of the Town of Ashburnham, we
are not focused only upon the dollars and cents of this proposal. We
are not blind to the cultural and economic benefit that the Museum
brings to our area and we will definitely take that into account as we
deliberate on this proposal.

Thank you again for your interest in the Fredericks, their Museum and
the Town of Ashburnham!

Jonathan M. Dennehy, Esquire
Chairman, Board of Selectmen
Town of Ashburnham
jmd@dennehy.us"
Posted by: John Citron

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/18/06 11:38 AM

I emailed Channel 5 TV Chronicle Team, and explained to them briefly what's happening and what the museum is all about. Hopefully they will take this into consideration, and put a nice program together about the collection.

John
Posted by: musdan

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/18/06 01:08 PM

Mr. Dennehy was kind enough to get back to me on my email suggesting the perhaps the Fredericks could purchase the building.

I'm posting his reply:

Dear Ms. Kaplan,

I personally am open to discussing with the Fredericks the possiblility of their purchase of the Stevens Building. To my knowedge though, your email is the first mention of this type of proposal by anyone involved. If the Fredericks would like to make a proposal for the purchase of the building, I am sure that my board would be happy to consider it.

Johnathan M. Dennehy

Hopefully something good will occur - their lease ends in the near future and if the Frederick's owned the building, than the irreplaceable pianos would have a permanent home.
Posted by: Terrytunes

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/18/06 09:51 PM

My response from Mr Dennehey;


Ms. Neff:

Thank you for your email and your support of the Fredericks. I am not sure why the Fredericks are not mentioned on the town's website. I will look into that and see if we can add a link for them there.

Thank you for your complimentary comments about the Fredericks and our town!

Jonathan M. Dennehy
Chairman, Board of Selectmen
Town of Ashburnham
32 Main Street
Ashburnham, MA 01430
jmd@dennehy.us
Posted by: tolovemoon

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/19/06 02:23 AM

Here is something I thought of and sent, I will post a reply if I get one, but isnt it a great idea..

OH I pray my idea and my prayers are answered...
Peace and love to the town and for the Frederick Historic Piano Collection..


To whom this may concern,
Hi, my name is Tracy, also known as Tolovemoon in the Piano World Forums on the web.
I have learned about this magnificent place called Frederick Historic Piano Collection only tonight and I dream of visiting one day.
I adore my own special 1910 piano with high hopes of one day affording the cost to restore it or doing most all the work myself.
There are so many piano lovers and musicians in our world today that it would be a shame to have this Piano Musuem have to relocate or worse not have a place to share such awesome instruments.
Think about this idea..

I live in Laurens, South Carolina a town where who would of dared thought could ever be in the spot light of tv, yet it did and was also made over to better the community. This was so special to the town folks and it has resparked more attention from visitors...
If your town could host a reality tv show with world known sponsors from piano manufacturing companies or even the small town restoration businesses then think of all the deserving piano owners that own old pianos could have the oppurtunity to have thier piano restored and placed in the musuem or the piano owner gets the visit to the museum with more insights about the history in piano making as well as their own piano restored for thier selves as a gift from others giving back.. You have watched shows like Pimp My Ride. Pimp My Truck, Which Building Should Be Saved? Restoration... , Divine Restoration, 'This Old House, "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, just to name a few or if you haven't just look at all the positives that come from these types of situations.

"Then God willing, power tools humming, hammers pounding, video cameras rolling and volunteers scrambling something just this side of miraculous can happen in 48 hours, or a few days.

Youth rooms, fellowship halls, kitchens, basketball floors, storefront ministries, pulpit areas and other spaces are renewed or created.

Church members often get new life, too. " From an aricle, TV show documents faith, fellowship, hammers and nails; 3 church
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The, Jul 15, 2006 by, TOM HEINEN


Many artist I am sure that are well known and successful would probably love the oppurtunity to give back to such a cause.
As old pianos from our histories piano manufacturing companies, some of wich are no longer in business start to fade away or demolish because of lack of funds to keep up or owners could not afford to restore as well accidents like floods, fires, or natural disasters wipe these instruments out we may not see them ever again...

This could be a very good oppurtunity for your town to have tourism, growth, current residents will take pride in thier town, as well as new place estashblished in a ever so popular loved passion by so many people around the globe.
Please consider in the thought, so my crazy idea, my dream, my heart, passion, soul, others as well, will have a chance from a miracle to come true..
May God Bless you in all that you do, and the best that is meant to happen will happen because it was meant to be...

Sincerely yours,
Tracy
Tolovemoon.
Peace!
Http://tolovemoon.buzznet.com
Posted by: Kenny Blankenship

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/20/06 05:29 PM

Here's Mine -

Mr. Turcotte;

Burn them, burn them all. They are old, stinky and dont sound or play very well.

Out with the old, I'm openning up a digital piano museum with an Estonia Annex next to it.
Posted by: Kenny Blankenship

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/20/06 05:30 PM

I really didnt send it. Man, they will put in a "parking lot."
Posted by: John Citron

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/20/06 07:51 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Kenny Blankenship:
I really didnt send it. Man, they will put in a "parking lot." [/b]
You had me scared for a minute!

Actually I've been spending time emailing various keyboard and historic performance societies. Perhaps these people will rally up too to help out.

John
Posted by: musdan

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/23/06 11:29 AM

Terry,

Any new news on the Fredericks Historic Museum?

Has a decision been made or is it still in the works? Thanks \:\)
Posted by: Terrytunes

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 10/23/06 09:54 PM

musdan, thanks for asking; I have not heard from Pat Frederick since last week at which time she hoped there was still a strong show of support pouring into the Ashburnham selectmen's office in the way of email and letters.

Also, anyone interested in informing another organization who might be interested in forwarding msgs to the town selectmen,please do so. John Citron had mentioned he was making other contacts requesting their support.

Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to respond. I'll update this thread when I receive any further info from Pat Frederick.

I just checked the Ashburnham website;

http://www.ashburnham-ma.gov/

still no updates for a link to the Frederick Collection under the Culture and Recreation titles.
Posted by: musdan

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 11/22/06 09:56 PM

Any news on the the Franklin Museum?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. \:\)
Posted by: Terrytunes

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 01/22/07 01:04 AM

I received a msg from Pat Frederick this weekend informing me the building that houses their historic piano collection will be going through another episode with town officials in a special town meeting setup for Wednesday evening, Jan 24th.

To recap this whole mess:

The town is renovating their town hall and needs temporary office space. The historic piano building has received over $100K of improvements provided by Pat & Michael Frederick. The town plans to break the lease and take back the building. Should this be voted in on Wednesday, the historic pianos would need to be removed as early as March or April.

According to Pat, the town has other options; one being to wait until next spring for town hall renovations to start since at this time the new fire and police stations will be finished and allow for town offices to be temporarily placed in the empty buildings.

There is also another building in town which could be rented and would already be equipped for the needs of the town administration offices.

I do realize the chance of someone reading this post and being able to attend the town hall meeting for a show of support is very slim but at Pat’s request I am making the effort to encourage area residents (and myself).


I know many of you were kind enough to send emails when this situation arose last fall. Maybe a reminder is in order.


Stay tuned for Wednesday nights results.
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 01/22/07 11:20 AM

Thanks for the update.
Posted by: musdan

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 01/22/07 04:31 PM

Hi Terry,

Thanks for the update.

The best solution if possible would be for the Frederick's to buy the building. They have so much invested.

I have a feeling that the "powers that be" would never allow that to happen. Hope the town takes advantage of the suggestions that you have posted.

Hope all goes well for the Fredericks. \:\)
Posted by: musdan

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 01/24/07 11:43 PM

Hi Terry,

How did the meeting go? \:\)
Posted by: musdan

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 02/05/07 09:52 AM

Terry,

Did the February Town Meeting happen yet? If it has, what did they decide?

Thanks for keeping us up-to-date. \:\)
Posted by: Terrytunes

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 02/06/07 08:59 PM

The meeting of the town selectmen last night in Ashburnham, MA, surprised all in attendance when it was announced by the selectmen that an unanticipated option had suddenly materialized that would avoid their having to inconvenience anyone, and that everyone will be happy with!

The details have not been completely worked out but the revised plan will be announced on Wednesday, 2/7/07.

Pat Frederick eagerly anticipates returning her priorities to the preparation of the spring concert series and continuing in their efforts to make available to the public the historic piano collection & study center.

Thanks to all who were concerned and those who offered support behind the scenes!

Should anyone have plans to be visiting the MA area, please consider dropping into the study center in Ashburnham to enjoy the fine collection of historic playable pianos and meeting Pat and Michael Frederick. Those who are intrigued and fascinated by the piano will find their visit to be both educational and memorable.
Posted by: John Citron

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 02/06/07 09:12 PM

Hi Terry,

I am so glad to hear this. Hopefully it is a real plan, and not something that'll cause heart aches later on.

John
Posted by: musdan

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 02/07/07 09:32 AM

Terry,

Fantastic news. I hope to visit sometime in the spring or summer.

I don't drive, so how to get there "tis a puzzelment". \:\)
Posted by: John Citron

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 02/08/07 09:21 AM

This is a bump to keep the news at the top.

I will call Pat when I get a chance. I want to talk to her about this and some other things.

John
Posted by: reliv4all

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 02/22/07 10:16 PM

Hello all,

Here is a follow up from Patricia:

"It looks as if our Piano Collection will be able to stay in its building until the end of our lease in June, 2010."

"Now we can turn our attention back to planning our concert seasons for spring and fall, 2007. Our spring schedule is still incomplete; although we know who is playing, and when, they have not all decided on their program details.
You can see what is scheduled so far, on our website at www.FrederickCollection.org The fliers will be mailed early in April."

The piano museum is back in business!
Posted by: Kristina Richards

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 02/24/07 02:13 PM

Hey, what are other great piano collections?

Recommended for those seeking a thorough history lesson...
Posted by: John Citron

Re: Help Save the Historic Piano Collection! (updated) - 02/24/07 04:02 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Kristina Richards:
Hey, what are other great piano collections?

Recommended for those seeking a thorough history lesson... [/b]
Hi Kristina,

There are a couple of others around, but this one is a touch and play kind of place. The others I think are more like collections at art museums where you can look, but absolutely can not touch. Here you get to play all the instruments after the tour. This quite the place, and a really wonderful treat.

I went on the official tour not quite two years ago, and I can still picture the location of every piano in the building. They've since added a new member to the collection, and I had the opportunity to try the instrument. It's an 1888 screw-stringer Mason & Hamlin grand about 7'3" long.

I'm looking forward to another tour, and especially to the new concert season.

John