Burberry Piano Talent Concert

Pictures of the piano being restored

Burberry Piano Talent Concert
April 28, 6:30 p.m.

Talent Concert to celebrate the newly-reconditioned Burberry Piano!

This rare 19th Century Viennese Piano-Forte, given to us by The Burberry Family, has been completely restored by the Hickey Piano Company here in Danville. We will use it in our morning worship services on April 28, and have our Talent Concert on the Evening of the 28th. During this Talent Concert you’ll hear music by: several keyboard musicians (present and past members), soloists, and groups inlcuding the Lexington Avenue Quartet.

An Update on Restoration

Philip Hickey, the restoration technician, has been working very hard on rebuilding the piano.  I received an e-mail from him a few days ago which describes some of the details of his work on the Tomaschek piano:

Just a quick update on the Tomachek piano.
Having spoken at length with my friend, Mr Jurgen Goering of British Columbia,who is  an outstanding authority on Viennese pianos of this vintage, we are in the process of hand restoring the original Chamois leather covered hammers in this instrument. We feel that this will give the most accurate restoration of both tone and original design.
Also, I think that you will be very pleased with the interior of the piano. The sounding board turned out quite beautiful in an amber shellac, the iron plate is finished in a uniquelyEuropean copper finish with royal blue highights and under felt. This teamed with deep blued tuning pins and bright copper bass strings gives a stunning effect.

We are closing in on completion and look forward to delivering the piano around the 18'th of April.
Phillip D. Hickey

As you can see this is truly a unique piano, and Mr. Hickey is trying to restore it as close as possible to an  historically-correct condition.  He assures us that this instrument will have a very nice tone quality and that the piano in its restored condition will serve our church for future decades. This historical piano will begin a new chapter in its history, one that will enhance the music ministries at Lexington Avenue Baptist Church.

Music Ministry History - Lexington Avenue Baptist Church

A. Present & Former Music Ministers:
1. John Gilbert
2. Harold Reynierson
3. Pauline Wall
4. Edward & Suzanne Clark
5. Jack and Dorothy Raines
6. Ken Hale
7. Jerry Bradshaw
8. Bruce & Shelly Richardson
9. Dan & Paige Weeks
10. Phil & Melanie Rector
11. Ken Martin (interim)
12. Phil & Melodee Quinn

B. Present & Former Organists:
1. Merlyn Reynierson
2. JoAnn Cinnamon
3. Nevalyn Moore
4. Lois Baltzer

C. Present & Former Pianists:
1. Mary Frenz
2. Jan Sheffield
3. Debbie Baker Harmon
4. Martha Robertson

D. Former Music Staff Interns:
1. Katie Lay Anderson
2. Brittany Stillwell Krebs
3. Tyler Wash

E. Other Prominent Musicians:
1. Harold Reynierson
2.  Alban Whitworth

See Bulletin Board about Burberry Piano Keys
We are doing SO well donating Keys for our friends and family. Over half of the keys are filled in already.  Stop by the bulletin board on the breezeway (walkway) and take a look. If you need a name of past pianists, organist, music ministers, choir members that you are wanting to donate a key for, talk to Dr. Phil. Thanks for restoring this unique and rare piano in such a meaningful way!

Piano Restoration
This historic 18th Century piano is currently being restored by the Phillip Hickey Piano Co., located here in Danville.We are fortunate to have him do our restoration, as he is a renowned piano technician. He is finding this piano to be particularly challenging, as much of the work is having to be done with hand-tools instead of electrical tools. It was originally built when there was no electricity, and he’s even having to hand-twist all of the nearly 300 wires (piano strings) to the new pins!

We have already had donations for 34 of the 88 keys being restored on this antique piano.Each key is $66, and they may be donated  “in honor of” or “in memory of” a loved one. A plaque similar to the one inside will be displayed near the piano once it is restored. Each key donor will receive a tuning pin taken from the piano prior to restoration.

We hope to use this piano to bring glory to God as it is used in our church. Perhaps it can be used as our Choir Room piano, or perhaps for worship in other ways. It will definitely be a historical instrument that will be a part of the musical excellence this church has always displayed.

A Brief History of the Viennese Grand Piano
After doing research on this piano I realized that it would take a true piano historian who speaks fluent German to do a complete history.  Help, Maria Rice!

The Viennese Grand Pianos were made during the time period of 1750-1850. There were several musicians named Tomaschek, who both composed music and built pianos. Phillip Hickey has found only two similar pianos, one in Eastern Europe and one in France.  There simply are very few pianos like it.

This style of piano comes from the Beethoven Period of Piano music, from the Romantic Period of Music, and the music composed for this piano was primarily “sonatas in the high classic tradition. Tomaschek’s influence on Schubart and all other Romantic piano lyricists was profound, and reaches as far as Brahms.”*

We cannot find information on this specific piano- inscriptions inside say, “F. E. Tomaschek in Wien, Opus Model 7, #32.”  We have found a reference to a later piano built by “Anton Tomaschek, Opus #881, made in Vienna c. 1840- Mahogany Veneer, 3 bulbous legs, on casters, square tail (top).  Inlaid in brass on inner keyboard cover, “Tomaschek in Wein”.**

*Oxford University Press, 1946, The Musical Quarterly.
**Makers of the Piano, by Martha Novak Clinkscale.