Steinway returns to opera house

Dec 06, 2013
Jennifer McIvor

Camden — Many celebrated pianists, among them John Legend, George Winston, John Gorka, Marcia Ball and Paul Sullivan, have played the 1927 baby grand Steinway at the Camden Opera House. Jennifer McIvor, piano accompanist for Down East Singers, has played it too, but she will gain the distinctive edge as the first person to play the instrument since its complete restoration during the past few months.

The newly restored historic piano will be unveiled at the start of Down East Singers' performance of “Black Nativity — In Concert: A Gospel Celebration” Sunday, Dec. 15, at 2 p.m. at the historic venue on Elm Street/Route 1.

The restoration, by Lindeblad Piano Restoration of Pine Brook, N.J., includes a new sound board, re-bronzed harp, new pinblock, new strings and action and a hand-rubbed lacquer refinished cabinet. McIvor also gets to christen a new adjustable concert piano bench. The restoration was funded by a generous anonymous grant, the proposal for which was developed by Kate Bates, a member of the Camden Opera House committee.

The piano was a gift in 1930 from Mary Louise Curtis Bok, who oversaw the Salzedo Music School and Harp Colony with Alice Chalifoux in Camden. It originally was crafted by Steinway for the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

McIvor has been with Down East Singers since 2010. She teaches piano in her studio in Wiscasset; teaches music at Edgecomb Eddy School and South Bristol Elementary School; and is adult choir director at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Newcastle. She holds a bachelor's degree in music from Loyola University in New Orleans and a master's degree in music education from New England Conservatory, where she also studied piano with Gabriel Chodos.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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