Big Sandy's Yamaha Baby Grand Piano


June 15, 2022

It took three years. It started when Amanda Robertson was the music teacher at Big Sandy Highschool. She encouraged him to get one. His idea was that every pianist could play it in the area. Also, Doug thought they could give smaller, more often recitals, The area at the Cultural Center area is not big enough to allow for large audiences. But he believes the more concerts, the better because it would be good for the kids who have difficulty playing before large audiences. "One time is not enough," Doug said.

He talked to Philip Aaberg, who put him on to his friend at Montana Piano in Billings. He first thought of getting a new smaller piano, but it was still too expensive. A barely used Yamaha C3 came in, and Philip Aaberg loved playing on one, so Doug sent out feelers to those who wanted to donate funds. In the end, the piano dealer lowered his price by $3,000 and donations or grants from the Montana Arts Council, Boe Foundation, and others. The final piano donor was Fay (Allderdice) Danielsen of Billings. The Cultural Center thanks Grammy-nominated composer/pianist Philip Aaberg and Montana Pianos of Billings for their assistance.

Doug took me to the back, and there it was. It was covered, but you could still tell it was a baby grand. After taking off the cover, he lifted the lid. I sat down and played. I can't remember any music I memorized when I was a child and didn't have any music with me. I wished I had.

I tried to get my granddaughter to come over so I could hear it being played, but she was on her way to Havre to watch a movie. The Yamaha c3 Grand Piano is free to use by students, teachers,

local musicians, and visiting professional pianists. It is dedicated to Big Sandy's past musicians, including Lulu Giebel, Jack Mahood, Melvin Tingley, Guy Price, Ralph Schwartz, the Svennungsen family, and others.

To visit the piano and play it, contact Doug Giebel at 378-2430 or email and set up a convenient day and time, or just drop into the Center when it's open. Giebel's car will be parked beside the Bakery building along Highway 87.

In addition. grants and donations from Epson, Silver Ticket, and Town Pump, the Center has a screening area and over 600 classic movies, plays, concerts, documentaries, and historical films of Big Sandy, plus tributes to Big Sandy's internationally-famous authors B.M. Bower and Dan


Doug told me recently a visitor said the Center "is the perfect place to stay in town and get away from it all." Take the Grand Tour, use it for parties and entertaining

visitors from out of town. And if you play the piano, come in and tickle the Yamaha ivories.


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