Tinkling the ivories again at Haddo House

The Steinway piano went for complete restoration in London.
The Steinway piano went for complete restoration in London.
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Haddo House’s grand piano has made a welcome return home - six months to the day since it was sent away for complete restoration.

The Steinway was unveiled at Haddo Hall last Thursday following extensive work at Steinway & Sons in London.

Cathy Guthrie, fundraising co-ordinator, seated, and Louise McGregor, chair of HHCOS performance committee, at the piano.

Cathy Guthrie, fundraising co-ordinator, seated, and Louise McGregor, chair of HHCOS performance committee, at the piano.

Haddo House Choral and Operatic Society (HHCOS) began the restoration project in December, 2012.

In less than 12 months they have managed to raise the £33,000 needed to pay for the cost of restoration and associated items such as a new piano stool and cover.

It was achieved through fundraising activities such as an auction of promises, collecting spare change and promoting a Sponsor a Key campaign, as well as applying for grants and donations.

A grant of £10,000 from the Udny Community Trust Company Ltd enabled the Society to send the piano away for restoration, which began in June this year.

Eleanor Morris, Udny Community Trust Company’s development officer, said: “We are very pleased that our grant enabled HHCOS to send the piano for restoration and provided an impetus for other donors and organisations to support the restoration project.

“It is a fantastic achievement to have raised the full amount in less than 12 months.”

Cathy Guthrie, HHCOS fundraising co-ordinator, said: “When we set out to restore the Steinway, we thought it would take much longer to raise the funds.

“We are tremendously grateful to the Udny Community Trust, the Hugh Fraser Foundation, HHCOS members, local companies and organisations, as well as the National Trust for Scotland, for their support.

“Without all their help, we would not have been able to restore this wonderful instrument in such a relatively short time.”

The National Trust for Scotland, who own and manage Haddo Hall, have been behind the project from the start.

They have refurbished the space where the piano is stored to ensure that it is kept in the best possible conditions.

Steve Callaghan, North East group manager, said: “We are delighted that the Steinway has been restored. It is part of the musical heritage of Haddo, and we look forward to working with HHCOS to increase audiences for piano and chamber music through stand alone concerts, HHCOS performances and concerts and recitals as part of the Haddo Arts Festival.”