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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Music society joy as piano fund target reached

A music society has reached its £60,000 fundraising target to buy a new piano to replace one damaged by floodwaters more than four years ago.

Susan Allison, secretary of the Cockermouth group, said members are “absolutely delighted” that their hard work has paid off and they have finally reached the mammoth milestone in less than 12 months.

They will now be able to purchase a Steinway B grand piano.

The society has thanked those who helped in the mammoth fundraising challenge including Cumbrian Newspapers – publishers of the News & Star – which gave a £300 donation last January.

Mrs Allison said: “This has been very much a community effort and the acquisition of such a high quality piano will be of great long-term benefit, not only to the community as a whole in any musical event that requires a good piano, but in particular to the Music Society concerts which will now be able to offer the best possible facilities to professional pianists.”

The piano will hopefully be in place in time for the beginning of the next season in September and will “enhance” the reputation of music in the town.

The society’s Boston piano, which is housed in the town’s United Reformed Church, was damaged during the floods of 2009.

Although the instrument was upstairs in the church, it was badly affected by the damp conditions and a decision was made that a replacement was urgently needed.

Last January the fundraising challenge kicked off, with a number of events taking place throughout the town. These fundraisers, as well as donations from various organisations, brought in half of the £63,200 total, with Arts Council England match-funding that amount.

The society has paid a heartfelt thank-you to long-standing member Arthur Allison, who set up the bids to the Arts Council, as well as driving the fundraising by writing to potential donators and for revamping the website to promote the society.

A small part of the Arts Council grant will support master classes for young pianists, with the first being held next month.

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