New piano donated to MCCC

A noteworthy donation has been made to MCCC.

Lake Erie community member, Cheryl Krakow, donated a Yamaha grand piano to MCCC. The piano arrived on campus Feb. 12 and will remain in the Z Building Atrium to be used by ensemble groups, students and community members.

Josh Myers, executive director of The Foundation, said Krakow first contacted him about the piano in November of last year.

“The donor had a really nice instrument she didn’t know what to do with, and she thought we were a great place for (the piano’s) permanent home,” Myers said.

Agora Chorale director Catherine Brodie said Krakow originally bought the piano for her daughter, who was a concert pianist. After Krakow’s daughter was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, she was no longer able to play. Thus, Krakow began to look for a new home for the instrument.

After Myers was contacted by Krakow, Brodie visited Krakow’s Lake Erie home to inspect the piano.

“She’s a lovely lady,” Brodie said. “I’m very grateful. I think it’s a wonderful gift. I was thrilled when I heard we were going to get it.”

Alyce Sangster plays “Over the Rainbow” on the new piano donated by Cheryl Krakow. The piano will reside in the Z Building Atrium. — Photo by Todd Salisbury

Following Brodie’s inspection, the Yamaha grand piano was transported to the college.

To move the piano, MCCC’s maintenance department, the donor and a piano tuner were involved.

Myers said some of the costs of transporting the piano and purchasing a dolly were paid for through the Cultural Enrichment Endowment.

According to MCCC’s website, the endowment is used for “programs, equipment and events that benefit, commemorate or contribute to the cultural enrichment of the students of MCCC and our community.”

Myers said the money will be used to tune, clean and oil the piano in the near future. A cover and keyboard lock will also be purchased for the instrument.

The donor also provided a gift of $200 to cover the costs of moving the piano.

Brodie said Krakow’s history of working at community colleges prompted her to contact MCCC. Krakow is a retired faculty member of community colleges in Michigan, Illinois and New Jersey.

“She wanted to give back to a community college, even if it wasn’t her own,” Brodie said.

The donation process took a total of five months, spanning from November 2019 to February 2020, Myers said.

Brodie said the piano arrived in the Atrium on Wednesday, Feb. 12.

“I came in right away to see it,” Brodie said.

The piano will stay in the Z Building to be used for events held in the Atrium.

“Our intent is to use the piano for whatever performances would make sense to do that,” Meyers said. “We do a lot of functions in the atrium, so that’s a neat aspect we can use (the piano) for.”

Brodie said she would like to see it be used to accompany small ensembles before band and choir concerts held in the Meyer Theater.

“Oftentimes we’ll have a little orchestra play before band concerts,” Brodie said.

“It will be really nice for something like that, just to have background music.”

MCCC Symphonic Band director Mark Felder said he is excited for the piano’s permanent spot in the atrium. In the past, the piano from the band room or Meyer Theater stage would have to be transported to the atrium. According to Felder, it’s not an easy process.

“We have to take the doors apart,” Felder said. “We’ve done it once because it’s such a pain.”

Myers said he also wants the piano to be enjoyed by students.

“We do want to make the piano available for students who want to play it,” Myers said.

Although the details are still being finalized, Myers said students who want to play the piano will be able to use a system to check out the piano key.

Myers said he is grateful to the donor for providing the instrument and is looking forward to seeing how the piano will be used by the community and students.

“Our community is going to benefit for those people who have events in the atrium, our students are going to benefit for those students who know how to play the piano and for students who enjoy the music,” Myers said.

Felder was honored that Krakow chose to donate the piano to MCCC.

“The fact that community members are thinking of the college as a way to give back, we’re thrilled with,” Felder said. “Thank you for giving, we couldn’t do it without you.”