NORTH RIDGEVILLE, OH – It is a scenario all too familiar at many public schools across America – music teachers and students dealing with inferior pianos. When the Steinway Piano Gallery Cleveland team assessed the instruments at North Ridgeville City School District, he found they were more than 50 years old.
A baby grand in Band Director Hailey Bryson’s room was approaching the century mark. “The pedals were falling off,” she says, “and it wasn’t as if it was being misused by the students. They just kept falling off.” Another eyesore, dubbed “Frankenpiano,” surrendered its shopworn black keys in the middle of a performance.
The piano inventory certainly did not reflect the character and nature of North Ridgeville, a growing suburban community of nearly 34,000 people in Lorain County cited by Cleveland Magazine as “One of the Best Places to Live in the Cleveland Area.”
SPG’s analysis prompted a discussion with school officials, who took a methodical approach to replace the aging instruments. The district spent two years researching and planning the purchase, and after multiple meetings, opting for a longterm solution that would transform the performing arts at North Ridgeville. They became one of the nation’s newest All Steinway K-12 Select Schools.
“These pianos work beautifully and sound fantastic. This is an investment in the district and the community.”
“It was a textbook case of how to get things done,” says Ted Good, CEO of SPG Cleveland, crediting Mrs. Bryson, who also heads the Music Department, and Matthew Yunker, director of operations, for championing the cause.
North Ridgeville’s fleet consists of Steinway Model B and Model O grand pianos, a Boston GP-193 grand piano, two Boston Up-118E uprights and three Essex EUP-123S uprights.
“These pianos work beautifully and sound fantastic,” says Mrs. Bryson, whose greatest satisfaction comes from seeing her students succeed and find their place in the world. “This is an investment in the district and the community.”
In artistically-fertile Northeast Ohio, home to All-Steinway Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music, North Ridgeville music students pursuing further studies have an opportunity to play on some of the same quality pianos they are likely to encounter at the next level.
Since acquiring pianos by Steinway & Sons in 2018, North Ridgeville has created a new piano course that gives students basic keyboarding skills “and a chance to enjoy these awesome instruments,” she says.
“It was a process. Sometimes, schools don’t move as fast on things as some people would like, but SPG Cleveland made the process very easy.”
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