Social Media Helps Macomb Schools Secure a New Boston Grand

As seen in the Fall 2018 edition of the Boston Chronicle


MACOMB, IL – Choral Director Melanie Butcher of the Macomb School District resides in a rural town of about 20,000 residents who proudly show some serious love for their award-winning choir.

“We are so fortunate to live in a community that supports and embraces the arts,” said Mrs. Butcher, who oversees the 7-12 choral groups. “As a result, we have a very active group of choir boosters that assist in raising funds for special long-term items such as a new piano.”

Regional School Superintendent John Meixner is so committed to the arts that he also serves as president of the Macomb Choir Boosters. The music community launched a highly-effective social media campaign with viral fundraising videos produced by Phil Weiss of nearby Western Illinois University. 

 “We created the Macomb High School Piano Fund and through Facebook and word of mouth, we were able to raise the funds for our new Boston,” Mrs. Butcher explained. “We value our music program at Macomb High School and have a long tradition of musical excellence,” she continued. “Therefore, it was important to us to provide our students with a top-notch instrument that can be used for generations.”

Looking to replace a 40-year-old Baldwin, the school enlisted help from Patrick Downing of West Music in Moline. Mrs. Butcher and Dr. Tammie Walker, director of WIU’s School of Music, tested several pianos in the showroom. Dr. Walker has two children in the school district.

“We found that the brilliance and clarity of the Boston grand were like no other,” Mrs. Butcher said. “Considering the size of our auditorium, we felt this was the perfect addition to our program.”

Macomb’s polished ebony GP-215 arrived at Felheimer Auditorium on August 25th, 2017, and students and music faculty were understandably excited as the West Music truck pulled up to the curb.

“The first performance on this piano was a short recital that happened before the first high school choir concert,” said Ethan Ivey, who recently joined the music faculty at Macomb’s Edison School. “It was a fantastic way to showcase the new Boston and every concert since then has benefitted tremendously by having this piano. It helped take an already magnificent program to the next level,” he said. “I look forward to seeing how our choirs continue to grow with this world-class instrument. I am so thankful to be working in this district doing my favorite job with the best people and now, this beautiful Boston piano!”

The Macomb choirs have a rich history of top-notch performances dating back to the 1930s. Most recently, the MHS Trip Choir and Madrigal Singers performed at the Worldstrides Onstage Heritage Festival in St. Louis, garnering a number of trophies including Outstanding Choir.

Ivey expects the new Boston will help see the program reach even greater heights.

the piano with Steinway DNA

Whether dazzling at the concert hall, woodshedding in the practice room, or exploring the joy of music at home, the Steinway-designed Boston brings the genuine world-class tone and responsiveness within reach.

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