Help Lanark group win ‘magnificent beast’ of piano

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Music in Lanark is making a rare appeal for cash - to help it buy this ‘magnificent beast’ of a piano.

The hand-made Yamaha 9ft concert grand, about 15 years old, is up for auction in Edinburgh on St Valentine’s Day with an estimate of £20,000-£25,000.

A very generous donation by sponsor Border Biscuits Community Support will let MiL into the bidding, but more is needed if the club is to win.

“We have enough in the appeal fund to be in on the start of bidding,” said Music in Lanark’s Jamie Hill.

The group’s current piano is a 1920s Bechstein B 6’7” grand piano, which the club was able to buy when the Clydesmuirs sold Braidwood House.

“It was a quality piano which has done Lanark music well for nearly half a century, but it is now showing its age,” said Jamie.

One visiting pianist described is as “like a vintage Bentley, perfect for motoring down to The Riviera in the summer, but not built for 21st century motorways”.

Music in Lanark wants to bring the best pianists to the town for the next five decades, and experts have advised the club to upgrade the piano.

A new one would cost more than £100,000, and the club is setting its hopes on this Yamaha in next month’s auction.

“It is an opportunity to acquire a real asset for the community,” said Jamie adding that, with the instrument the club could have a Young Pianist of the Year competition, or regular Sunday Afternoon Piano Recitals, in the Institute in New Lanark where the piano would be housed.

With backing from the public, the club can be in with a shout as the bidding for the piano gets underway, and it could bring this magnificent beast back to the town.

Donations can be sent to treasurer Frank Caddell at 5 Friarsdene Lanark ML11 9JE and, as Music in Lanark is a charity, these can be Gift Aided.