With just seven weeks to go, the fundraising project to purchase a grand piano for the Centene Center is well on its way.
“We started on the Sept. 1 and we will go to Dec. 1,” said Kurt Bauche, who is heading the efforts to raise money for the purchase of a grand piano for the Centene Center. “Thing are going very well. We are now at almost $9,000.”
The cost of a new grand piano – with accessories and storage cabinet – is expected to cost approximately $40,000. Earlier this year, the Farmington City Council approved for the city to match “dollar for dollar” up to $20,000 for a grand piano.
In order to make the fund raising campaign a success, Bauche has revisited a very familiar place – the Farmington School District Music Department, which he was an intricate part of for 30 years.
“I spoke to Superintendent Matt Ruble to get his approval to contact the Music Department and he was completely behind it,” Bauche said. “We started ‘Pennies for Piano’ at the school to help our campaign.”
According to Bauche, several of the music teachers have already started helping raise money for the cause.
At the Truman Kindergarten Center, instructors Janice Chatman and John Minnis and their students have been learning about grand pianos and are collecting loose change in their “Pennies for Piano” jar.
High school choral director Kevin Niccoletti and middle school vocal music director Regina Brown Vaughn helped join the efforts by running a concession stand at the middle school volleyball game where they raised almost $100. In addition, Niccoletti also has a jar for loose change at the high school where he has collected more than $60 so far.
Lincoln Intermediate music teacher Jon Kekac and his music students plan on doing their part by passing the hat during their December concert.
“The primary draw will be bringing better quality music with the new piano,” Kekac said. “For convenience it will a great addition. Now we have to bring a piano over from the high school and every time we do that, the piano needs to be tuned.”
According to Tim Karth, the director of bands for the district, the Black Knight Marching Band Booster Club will be present Bauche with a check on Oct. 16 before the Farmington football game against the Central Rebels.
“I’m so glad to see the students getting involved,” Bauche said. “After all, they are the ones who will be getting the most use from it than any other group,”
Contributors can make a donation to the fund at five different levels: Supporter ($25-$99); Bronze ($100-$499); Silver ($500-$999); Gold ($1,000-$4,999); and Platinum ($5,000 and over). Donors at each level will have their names on a plaque to be placed in the lobby of the Centene Center and during a dedication ceremony to be held. Additional recognition will be given to the Gold and Platinum level donors as well.
In addition Bauche said people could make donations in the memory or honor of a loved who loves the arts.
“This is a really neat part of the project,” Bauche said. “You can make a donation to honor someone. We have already have had people who have made donations in (honor of someone).”
Bauche added that he doesn’t foresee any reason why they will not be successful with their campaign when it ends on Dec. 1.
“There are a lot of people who support the arts in Farmington,” Bauche said. “This is a chance to invest in the community and I know I am very excited that the city has given me to the opportunity to work on this.”
Donations for the grand piano will be channeled through the Mineral Area Council on the Arts, a non-profit organization which has agreed to be the collection agency for the project, allowing for donations to be tax deductible. All contributions will go to the city for the purchase of the instrument.
For more information on the fundraising drive, contact Bauche at 756-7990, 631-3313 or by email at email@example.com.
Donations can be made out to MACOA with “Centene Center Piano Fund” indicated on the memo line of the check and mailed to Centene Center Grand Piano Project, c/o Kurt Bauche, 2627 Oak Ridge Dr. in Farmington.
Craig Vaughn is a reporter for the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-518-3629 or at firstname.lastname@example.org