Vail Jazz Foundation acquires digital pianos
Ryan Summerlin December 18, 2012
VAIL, Colorado – With significant support from Yamaha Pianos and Woods & Son Piano Company, the Vail Jazz Foundation has acquired three state-of-the-art Yamaha NU1 digital pianos for the Vail Jazz Workshop. The workshop, now in its 18th year, is a highly selective program for gifted high school-aged jazz musicians. The new digital pianos will enable workshop students and their instructors to use the very best technology. Battle Mountain High School music department will be the beneficiary of this purchase and will use and care for the pianos during the school year. Over 200 young jazz musicians have graduated from the Vail Jazz Workshop since its inception in 1996. Known throughout the country as the pre-eminent jazz education program for high school jazz musicians, students work up to 12 hours a day for 10 days without written music. The students receive professional-level, one-on-one instruction and a one-of-a-kind experience that has launched numerous successful music careers. By the end of this intense program in Vail, these young musicians are billed as the “Vail Jazz All-Stars” and perform for the opening night of the Labor Weekend Jazz Party, playing alongside their instructors. “When Tom Mapson of Yamaha suggested that our nonprofit could acquire these fabulous pianos through a special program that combined his support, with that of Yamaha Pianos and Woods and Son Piano Company, along with Vail Jazz’s donor base, we were delighted,” said Howard Stone, chairman of The Vail Jazz Foundation. “This project proves once again that one plus one can equal three, when partners work together in creative ways.”Attendees at the Labor Day Weekend Vail Jazz Party contributed $8,800 toward the purchase of the pianos.The NU1, a hybrid piano from Yamaha, combines the traditions of an acoustic instrument with the innovation of digital technology. Yamaha touts the NU1 as combining the “traditions of an acoustic instrument with the innovations of digital technology.” The digital pianos will be housed at Battle Mountain High School during the school year.”We are thrilled to be a part of this partnership,” said Sheresa Wilbanks, choir/master teacher at Battle Mountain High School. “This will enable the music department to increase the number and quality of our pianos for use in class, band and choir, furthering the potential of our students.” The acquisition of the three digital pianos is an outgrowth of a long-standing sponsorship by Yamaha Pianos and Woods & Son Piano Company with the Vail Jazz Foundation. The partnership between the Vail Jazz Foundation and Battle Mountain High School is the first between the two organizations.