Benn Hall makes 'grand' gesture to Rugby primary school

THE Benn Hall has donated a piano to a Rugby primary school.
(centre) Steve Droy, professional concert piano tuner and founder of the Piano Technology School, works on the baby grand piano at the Benn Hall with students Eoin McCarthy (left) and Henry Melbourne (right).
07 December 2023

The baby grand piano was gifted to the hall shortly after the venue first opened its doors in 1961.

Built in the early 20th century by London-based JB Cramer and Co, the baby grand was in desperate need of repair and tuning.

In stepped Steve Droy, professional concert piano tuner and founder of the Piano Technology School, which has been based in Rugby since 2021.

Steve brought students currently studying piano tuning and servicing at the school to the Benn Hall, where the baby grand was expertly cleaned, serviced and tuned ahead of it being donated to Cawston Primary School.

Steve said: "This was a great opportunity for our students to get some hands-on work experience and we're grateful to the Benn Hall for agreeing to let us work on the piano so it can be moved in working order.

"We appreciate school budgets are tight, but it's so important for children and teachers to have access to musical instruments, which is why we thought this was a workable and affordable solution."

Kate Worthington, headteacher at Cawston Primary School, said: "We're over the moon to be rehoming the baby grand piano which has lived at the Benn Hall for many years.

"Our young musicians will make the most of the opportunity to showcase their musical skills in assemblies and concerts on this fabulous instrument for years to come.

"We're very grateful to the Benn Hall for donating the piano to us," she added. "It will be a wonderful Christmas present."

The baby grand piano looks set to be delivered to Cawston Primary School on Monday (11 December).

Cllr Adam Daly, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for leisure and wellbeing, said: "The piano had fallen into a state of disrepair and we're delighted Steve and his students at the Piano Technology School have been able to restore it and give it a new lease of life.

"Cawston Primary School makes for a perfect new home for the piano, and we hope it benefits both pupils and teachers for many years to come."