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We journey with God, to serve with love


Bethlehem “New-to-us” Grand Piano possibilities and Appeal:

The piano we currently use in the sanctuary is not in top playing condition.  A few keys stick and it doesn’t hold a tuning very well.  It is not a piano in its prime.  This year’s KBB effort included a focus on an upgraded replacement piano and generated nearly $3000 toward it.

We currently have leads on two gently used baby grand pianos of comparable quality (of the same brand as the piano David Husser has in his home.). One piano is in a nearby town and the other is 2-3 hours away.  The first piano is a K. Kawai 5’1” long in a polished walnut finish.  It was made in the mid-1990s and has had, according to the owner, very little use.  It was purchased by her dad, who has since passed away, and the piano is unused.  The second piano is also K. Kawai, 5’5” long in a polished ebony finish.  We are still gathering additional information on this one, but the ad says it was “adult owned and played” and is in “excellent” condition.  Our music team including David Husser and Sharon Weller hopes to travel to review both pianos within this coming week.

In addition to the cost of the piano (which will likely range between $5000 and $6500), there will be other associated costs.  Moving it to Bethlehem will cost about $325 from nearby and about $700 from the further location, if deemed the piano of choice.  Once moved, either will have to be tuned, and - as it acclimatizes to the sanctuary’s temperature and humidity- tuned again.  Approx. $125-150 each time.  We will want to purchase a permanent triangular dolley to reduce the stress on the legs when in use and ease its movement in the sanctuary as well.  This may also help to minimize tunings throughout the year.  The dolley costs around $750.  And finally, a quilted cover to keep dust off and to protect the case from accidental scratches runs about $175.

The Council previously endorsed the piano as a KBB item and the Finance Committee has now suggested the use of Memorial Funds to close the gap toward a purchase.  We are also hoping that folks who would like to support the purchase of a used piano in very good condition would like to help close the small gap further, so we are making this one final appeal for congregational support.  Please consider a gift this month marking it KBB and/or piano.

One final note for those who expressed “spatial” concerns for a grand piano…As Pr. Paul and Barbara Oster spoke in their “Keep Bethlehem Blooming” piano appeal, our worship space will need to be modified, but only slightly, for a baby grand piano. A baby grand is approximately twice the size of our current piano and would need to be “tucked in” to an area about the size of 2 half-pews (stacked front to back) in the front of our sanctuary. When the piano is placed in that corner space, we would lose seating for between six and eight persons. However, when it is placed in the “open space” between the pews and altar, no seats would be sacrificed, only replaced by chairs instead of pews. This is important because we hope, as always, to be a growing church, and while our sanctuary holds over 200 people (and we currently worship between 40 and 75 people per regular worship service), we always want to maximize our space for our worshippers (and secondarily, our instruments of worship.)


Bethlehem Lutheran Church
1050 Peninsula Drive
Traverse City, MI 49686-2799
Phone: 231.947.9880