SHS music debuts new grand piano

SYCAMORE – After five years of fundraising and with the help of a donation from NB&T, the Sycamore Music Boosters purchased a grand piano for Sycamore High School.

Music boosters president Ken Olson unveiled the Shigeru Kawai grand piano at Sycamore High School’s Jazz Night. Olson recognized Lori Grant and the committee members of the annual A Note to Remember event for their fundraising efforts to contribute to the piano fund. He also thanked NB&T President and CEO Mike Cullen and VP and Marketing Director Tami Armstrong.

According to, Shigeru Kawai, who died in 2006, devoted his life’s work to the art of the piano. The instruments that bear his name are so elegantly designed and meticulously crafted that they are characterized as the premier pianos of Japan.


“Every Shigeru piano is custom-built and handcrafted by the most skilled piano artisans, with just over 200 pianos being built each year,” said David Graham, owner of Graham Piano Service in Sycamore.


“Upon delivery, each piano includes a biography of the skilled craftsman that mainly was involved in building the piano.”


Scott Mertens, music department chair, demonstrated the new instrument when he and Rich Moore of the Northern Illinois University School of Music treated the audience to an impromptu piano/saxophone duet of “Night and Day.”


“I had a wonderful time performing with Sycamore High School. The band was full of enthusiasm and gave a wonderful performance. A highlight was having the opportunity to perform a duo with Mr. Mertens,” Moore said. “In addition to being a great educator, he was able to show the students and audience his impressive abilities as a performer. Additionally, he was able to demonstrate to the community how beautifully the new grand piano can be played. The school is fortunate to have such a nice instrument and director.”

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