Allan H. Day, R.P.T.
Creating harmony in Vermont one piano at a time
8 Lincoln Rd. Williston, VT 05495       (802) 233-0544      pianomanday@comcast.netmailto:pianomanday@comcast.netshapeimage_3_link_0
 

July 2012:

In July 2012 I had the privilege of  attending the seminar hosted by Oberlin Conservatory for Steinway technicians.  During this week-long session about 20 technicians from all over the world take part in choosing intensive projects offered by Steinway staff technicians. The net result is a greater understanding of how to achieve the best sound in my clients pianos.


And these spiffy certificates:

ONCE GRAND PIANO NOW GRAND AGAIN


October 2014:


The restoration of the piano in UVM's Alumni house is the largest restoration project I have ever done. This is just one part of huge undertaking to restore the Wells House at 61 Summit Ave. in Burlington to become the future site of the Alumni House and Pavilion. The original house was gifted in 1926 to UVM to be used as the home of the Delta Psi fraternity.


The fine 1926 Mason & Hamlin grand piano was a major part of this gift as well. Unfortunately the piano and interior of the house suffered abuse throughout the years and alas the fraternity was disbanded and the house shuttered.


In the last decade a decision was made to return the property to its original splendor and I was brought in to examine the piano. Upon seeing it I was shocked to think that people could render such abuse to an instrument and the luxurious interior of this venerable mansion.


It took a while to set the project into motion while pleas went out to private donors to fund the restoration. In spite of a few hiccups along the way all the money was finally raised from generous UVM Alumni.


The piano was returned to its newly restored home on November 19, 2016.


Below you can see a gallery of photos documenting the project from start to finish.

Raw and damaged piano newly arrived in the shop with only a few keys working.

The dampers are removed.

As you can see, the strings and the interior of the piano were beyond filthy.

God only knows what was spilled inside!

The cast iron plate is removed

Cracks in the soundboard. This soundboard is beyond saving. It must be replaced.

The old soundboard will have to be scraped clean before measuring for the new soundboard.

The keys will need to be recovered and the action completely cleaned and re-felted.

Measuring the old soundboard.

Newly finished gold plate. I shined-up and affixed a 1926 penny found inside the action of the piano.

My assistant Emily dismantles the old action.

I carefully mark the back action for replacement.

With the new soundboard and decal in place the restringing process is just about complete.

The expert finishing team from Meetinghouse Restoration in Quechee, Vermont

The final photos show the completely restored piano in my shop, and finally installed in its original home in the newly renovated and restored Alumni House at UVM.

A NEW PIANO FOR VPR

January 21, 2017

In September 2016 I was proud to be part of a delegated team of experts to travel down to the Steinway Factory in Astoria, Queens, NYC to select a brand new 9ft Steinway concert grand piano that would soon grace Vermont Public Radio’s new performance studio - part of a multi-million dollar addition to their existing headquarters in Colchester, Vermont.


The purchase of the piano was the result of a very generous gift to VPR from a couple who have been longtime supporters and wanted to honor their grandmothers - both of whom were concert pianists.


Making the trek with me to Steinway Place were VPR Classical Music Staff Kari Anderson, James Stewart, and concert pianists Paul Orgel and Simone Dinnerstein. We had 5 pianos from which to choose the best-suited for the performance space at VPR. We spent the afternoon there deliberating and comparing the sound qualities, touch and character of each piano. We finally decided on THIS beauty...


Several weeks later the piano was delivered with great ceremony to its new home in VPR’s brand new performance studio. This past January 20, 2017, the piano receieved it’s inaugural live performance to a packed audience and thousands of listeners all over the world as Simone Dinnerstein played a program of Phillip Glass and Franz Schubert.


I was so nervous, because I had do a last-minute concert tuning: completing it just a short time before the live broadcast, due to humidity changes in the room. VPR was still dealing with heating and humidity adjustments to their new state-of-the-art facility and, or course, the piano reacted accordingly!


But all went very well. The live audience was thrilled with Simone’s playing. giving her a much-deserved standing ovation!


Afterward everyone was treated to a short documentary about our trip to New York to pick out the Steinway. It was expertly edited by a staff member at VPR.  Here’s a link to that documentary on YouTube:  https://youtu.be/AaJfYKe12Yg