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First Appeared in Harbor Country News – November 17, 2020

HARBERT — The first-ever grant made by the Michiana Arts Foundation, a newly-formed charitable organization with a mission to make fine music accessible in the region, has been awarded to the Episcopal Church of the Mediator in Harbert,.

The gift was used to facilitate the acquisition of a baby grand piano.

The piano, a 1929 Apollo parlor grand, was originally owned by Andrew and Margaret Cooper of Lakeside. When they decided not to keep it this fall, Mrs. Cooper spoke to her friend, Lolly Roberts, who spoke to her friend, Tom Flint. Roberts and Flint both live in Three Oaks, where they are board members with the School of American Music (SAM).

Flint went to SAM Executive Director Donna Mitchell, who reached out to her programming partner, Linda Anderson of the Episcopal Church of the Mediator. SAM presents Free Family Concerts at the church.

“Oh course we’ll take a baby grand!” Anderson said when Mitchell approached her.

Members of the Church of the Mediator were eager to accept a piano to match the acoustics of their new church, a vaulted stone building constructed in 2010. But the church hadn’t been budgeting for a new piano and the expenses for minor repairs, professional tuning, and a dolly to safely move the piano were not major, but still prohibitive.

The community kept talking, and soon Garth Taylor, president and founder of the School of American Music, heard about the dilemma. The school has been providing music lessons and concert programming to the people of Michiana since 2012. Taylor tapped the Michiana Arts Foundation and through its grant, Mediator was able to meet all expenses. The piano moved to its new home in October.

The Michiana Arts Foundation is a family foundation with a mission to make music and arts accessible in the Michiana region.

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