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Friday, 03 July 2015

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Cockermouth group appeals for new piano

Cockermouth Music Society has launched an appeal to raise more than £60,000 for a new Steinway piano.

FUNDRAISING IS KEY: Cockermouth Music Society has launched an appeal to raise money to buy a new Steinway piano to replace one that has been affected by the damp. Committee members, from left: David Lindley, Sue Allison, Di Martin and Martyn Evans

The group’s existing piano was affected by damp conditions at the flooded United Reformed Church after the 2009 floods.

Since then the condition of the machine-built Boston grand has declined and it is no longer up to the demands of professional solo pianists.

The society wants to replace the instrument with a hand built, higher quality Steinway B grand piano.

The current instrument has lasted the society 16 years while a Steinway at Mirehouse, near Bassenthwaite, is still in good working order after 113 years.

Steinway provides a 12.5 per cent discount to music societies but the cost is still expected to be about £63,000.

The society hopes to secure a large portion of that from Arts Council England but still needs to raise between 30 and 50 per cent itself. Members begun a Steinway Appeal Fund to raise enough money to make a bid to Arts Council England.

It has about £8,000 in a piano fund it has been saving in since the last instrument was bought and expects to get about £6,000 from Steinway for trading in the current model.

Organisations including Cockermouth Town Council and the Papcastle Recreational Trust have already pledged support and early fund-raising has helped get the current total to about £14,000.

Secretary Susan Allison said: “The more we can raise the more we can put into our bid in partnership funding.

“The Arts Council is suffering from the economic downturn in the same way we all are and we shall not be taken seriously or given help if we cannot show we are working very hard to support our bid.

“We really need to get a piano which is going to last a long time. For the future of the music society and for Cockermouth in general we really need to do this.”

The society hosts seven concerts by professional musicians each year with the aim of increasing interest in classical music in the town. It also performs its own shows.

Members plan to run fund-raising events to increase the figure and raise interest in classical music in West Cumbria.

To donate or find out more call 016973 71397.

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