Serendipity! A nice story for your Tuesday, from Keowee Chamber Music

Here’s a sweet story from Kate Steinbeck, flutist and artistic director of Keowee Chamber Music.

“Something neat happened a few weeks back that I’d like to share with you. I was able to connect two of my favorite Asheville organizations: the main library, Pack Memorial, and our wonderful NPR station, WCQS.

One recent Saturday afternoon as I was in front of my house, Tammy Silver, a neighbor and administrator from Pack Library, walked by. We chatted about the major renovation that Pack Library is about to undertake. Suddenly I had a ‘light bulb moment.’

‘What about the piano?’ (The Steinway in Lord Auditorium), I asked. ‘Oh, it’s going in storage,’ she said. ‘Any chance it could stay in the performance studio of WCQS instead?’ ‘Mmmm, maybe,’ said Tammy.

She wasn’t sure if the piano had already been moved. I called my friend, Dick Kowal, music director at WCQS, and asked, ‘What if…?’ ‘That would be great!’ he said.

Since 1955, there has been a Steinway grand piano in Lord Auditorium in the lower level of Pack Library. In fact, I played my very first recital right there with that piano in November 1979!

On the other end, WCQS has recently undergone its own renovation and now has a beautiful performance studio. Guitarist Amy Brucksch and I gave the first concert there this past March.

A few e-mails and phone calls later, the wheels were rolling on the moving van taking the piano from Pack to WCQS, where it will remain for the next 18 to 24 months. This means more beautiful live music for our community.

I was very pleased to be part of this happening. You can also be part of the piano’s first performance.

Tune in this week as sublime Asheville musician, jazz pianist and composer Bill Gerhardt will play Friday, Sept. 18 at 2 p.m., spotlighting selections from his recent solo piano recording. It’s the first of many live performances to be hosted by WCQS, through the kind loan of the Steinway by Pack Library.

Catch it streaming live at

More music to follow!”

Photo of Charles A. McClain Jr. of Dunham’s (left), C.G. Steinway (center) and Margaret Ligon, Head of Asheville Libraries (right). Margaret Ligon is handing a $3,400 check to Mr. McClain for the purchase the piano in photo. Dated 9/16/55. (Courtesy of Pack Memorial Library)


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