The Student Newspaper of Poly Prep Country Day School

The Polygon

The Student Newspaper of Poly Prep Country Day School

The Polygon

The Student Newspaper of Poly Prep Country Day School

The Polygon

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New Arts Center, New Pianos!


 As the Poly Arts Center opened to the community on January 21, the Arts Department also introduced another addition to the Poly Arts experience: brand-new pianos. With the generous donation from the Anderson-Lopez family and the organizational skills of music teacher and Poly Conservatory Coordinator, Simone Ferraresi, student vocalists, pianists, musicians, actors, and dancers will all greatly benefit from the incorporation of improved pianos into Poly’s evolving music curriculum. 

      The donation provided Poly with a new chapel grand piano and another five new upright pianos were distributed throughout different music spaces within Poly . The additions to the Poly campus have a considerable influence on activities that students rely on to enhance their artistic abilities such as auditions, rehearsals, and choir practices.

 “All of these students are continuously searching for pianos,” said Ferraresi. “They are looking for pianos and places to practice.” 

The need for pianos presents a challenge, mainly because of the complex nature of Poly’s seven-day cycle. “We certainly have the resources that they need,” said Ferraresi, “although the scheduling is always posing a challenge because…the rooms with the pianos are not always available.”

Even though scheduling conflicts occasionally arise, the impact that these pianos will have on the experience of Poly artists is immense as it “supports the growth of student musicians. The grand piano in the chapel is a gorgeous, glorious, new piano and [it] will help us with our concerts but what is exciting is that there are just more places to make music now,” said Michael Robinson, chair of Poly’s Arts Department.

The pianos are not only an investment because they enable students to practice their craft, but because they also improve the quality of sound while playing. Older pianos are shallower and not as weighted, which can impact the level of practice for a pianist. Obtaining the opportunity to play on pianos that are as high-end as Poly’s is an exciting opportunity for student musicians.

 Student pianist, Konatsu Iwai ’26 said, “For pianists who have been playing for quite some time, it’s always fun to try new pianos and, hopefully, it will improve my performance experience as well.”

Obtaining the new pianos would have been impossible without the donation by the Anderson-Lopez family during the Poly Arts Gala last year, which Robinson noted was given “on behalf of collaboration and the experience that their children have had here.” Pianos are exceptionally difficult to purchase and provide maintenance for, especially at a school. As pianos are such a large commitment, it was challenging to incorporate them into the budget. Without the aid of Anderson-Lopezs’, these pianos would have taken much longer to be replaced. 

The piano in the Chapel is exceedingly special as it is a Fazioli grand piano, “handcrafted with high-quality materials in Italy. [Fazioli pianos] have a worldwide reputation for exceptional tonal quality due to meticulous handcrafting and feature premium woods like maple and Italian spruce for the soundboard. Poly Prep stands out as the only independent school in New York with such an instrument; the Juilliard School is the only other educational institution that owns Fazioli pianos in New York City,” wrote Ferraresi in an email to the Polygon. To prevent damage to such an important instrument, “some measures can be collectively taken, such as minimizing movements by keeping it in the center at all times, and covering it with its quilted cover when not in use,” Ferraresi added. 

“We didn’t compromise on getting a really special piece of equipment,” said Robinson, “[the Chapel] piano could easily be here another couple hundred years.” 

If you would like to visit these new additions to the Poly campus yourself, go to rooms 201, 228A, 123, The Music Office, the Poly Arts Center Band Room, or the Chapel. 

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