Concert to welcome back musical icon
Public relations intern
Avondale College of Higher Education
Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia
A concert to welcome home a long serving and refurbished musical icon will celebrate the return of a piano Avondale was never supposed to have.
Lady Elle will be officially named during Avondale Conservatorium’s Welcome Home! concert in Avondale College Seventh-day Adventist Church this Saturday (May 31). The Yamaha 9-ft concert grand piano returned from a refurbishment this past summer that included a restring, a paint, a polish and the replacement of all wearable action parts—including keys.
The name, Lady Elle, is a subtle reference to American pianist and vocalist Liberace, who used the piano during his last Australian tour in 1973. But how did she end up at a college of higher education in Cooranbong?
Dr Lynden Rogers, a senior lecturer in physics, remembers the story. Shipping issues had delayed delivery of a much smaller piano for Avondale College’s annual choir concert in 1974. A piano had been promised, though, so a piano—Lady Elle—was delivered. Apparently, no one could deny her beauty and the Avondale community rallied to raise the further $3000 to buy the piano. Lynden says he will forever wonder if the story was just a cunning ploy by distributors to make a bigger sale.
Lady Elle has now been a part of college life for 40 years. “She’s invaluable and irreplaceable,” says Avondale Conservatorium director Aleta King. To ensure Lady Elle’s longevity, plans are now to implement an access management system beginning in second semester.
Welcome Home! will feature a performance of Beethoven’s Choral Fantasia by pianist Claire Howard Race, Avondale Singers and Avondale Chamber Orchestra. Avondale Conservatorium’s other ensembles will also perform as will five of its high distinction students.
Concert: Welcome Home!, Saturday, May 31, 2014, Avondale College Seventh-day Adventist Church, 7.30 pm.