NEC has a total of 173 pianos. All studios, performance halls, classrooms, faculty offices, and general-purpose practice rooms are equipped with pianos or electronic keyboards.
How pianos are distributed
- The performance halls are equipped with Steinway model D concert grand pianos as the primary instruments (with the exception of the Keller Room, which is too small for that size instrument and has two Steinway model B pianos instead).
- Piano teaching studios are equipped with two grand pianos each (Steinway model Bs).
- Piano Priority practice rooms also have grand pianos (usually Steinway model Bs).
- String and voice teaching studios have one grand piano each (a mix of Steinway models B, M, L, and O).
- Classrooms have either an upright or grand piano, depending on the size and use of the room.
- Faculty offices and general-purpose practice rooms have upright pianos. A few general-purpose practice rooms have electronic keyboards.
Refreshing the stock
Over the past eight years, NEC has purchased 28 new Steinway and Yamaha grand pianos and 14 new Yamaha and Boston uprights. In addition, NEC has aggressively pursued rebuilding older instruments to bring them to near-new condition and is actively soliciting donations of quality pianos, an effort that has proven very successful so far.
Most recently, NEC raised $200k to fund the purchase of two new pianos for Jordan Hall. A New York Steinway Model D was selected by NEC’s Piano faculty in May 2009 (read more), and NEC is currently seeking additional donations to fund the selection and purchase of a Hamburg Steinway D during the 2009/2010 academic year. The result is that all of NEC’s concert halls have new or nearly new pianos, and the piano teaching studios all have instruments that were purchased or rebuilt within the last eight years.
Similar improvements have been made to the pianos in the Voice and String faculty studios, the Jazz rehearsal rooms, and the classrooms. NEC has recently begun to focus attention and resources on improving the quality of the upright pianos in the general-purpose practice rooms as well.
On-site piano technicians
The three full-time and six contract piano technicians in the Piano Services department tune and maintain NEC’s 173 pianos. They also do all piano rebuilding work, except for case refinishing and soundboard replacement, which are outsourced.