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FDSH to get grand piano

Instrument to be used for concerts and contests

January 30, 2012
By BRANDON L. SUMMERS, Messenger staff writer , Messenger News

Fort Dodge Senior High is getting a new grand piano for its band room.

Curtiss Klein, director of bands, brought a recommendation for the purchase to the Fort Dodge Community School District board on Jan. 23.

"We try to, every year or two, upgrade our piano situation in the Senior High building," he said. "This is a project that I've been working on for a number of years."

Klein received bids from three companies: Rieman Music in Fort Dodge, Kreuger Music in Northwood and Barber Music in Des Moines.

"When I let these bids out I tried to tell them I want to stay as comparable as possible," he said. "What I wanted was a nice little black piano that had a matching bench, a dolly to roll around on so it will protect the legs, and a quilted cover to protect it when it's not being played."

The lowest bid, and Klein's recommendation, was $8,000 for a new GM-10 Kawaii grand piano from Kreuger Music. The bid includes delivery and set up, and comes with a piano bench, dolly and a quilted cover. The Kawaii GM-10 is the same model the school has in its choir room, Klein said.

Klein said he was willing to consider a used piano, if it was in "decent shape." A used Baldwin was bid at $6,000.

According to Klein, the grand piano will be used for concerts in the school's theater, including their prospectus and jazz concerts, and for state small group contests the school hosts during the year.

"We do have a piano in the choir room right now, a grand piano. Having an additional piano in that part of the building will make it easier for the choir folks to use it in the other concerts," he said. "Right now, whenever we have to use the choir room's grand piano we have to take the doors off from the choir room to roll it out."

Klein wanted to look at a new piano last year, he said, but was asked by Senior High Principal Dave Keane to wait a year.

"We had a little bit better budget to look at this year, and so he told me to go ahead and secure one," Klein said. "Prices did go up a little from last year, and so my thought was, let's try and get one in there now. The next couple of years, we don't know what the economy is going to do."

Klein said he's pursuing a grant from the Ann Smeltzer Charitable Foundation to help match some of the cost. Stuart Cochrane, board president, asked if it would be "more effective to make that inquiry of these grant dollars before we spend the money from the general fund."

"I just know sometimes as a contributor if the product's already purchased they might be less likely to contribute anything," he said.

Jack Christensen, board secretary, said pursuing the grant after the purchase wouldn't be a problem for the district.

"I can speak for the Smeltzer Trust, and I don't really think that's an issue," he said. "I think it's fairly secure that we will get something."

Klein said that the Boosters would also be willing to contribute, and that he has a "very healthy" activities account.

The recommendation for the purchase of a new grand piano for the Senior High was approved unanimously by the school board.

Contact Brandon L. Summers at (515) 573-2141 or



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