Trinity Lutheran Church shares a grand story of passion and perseverance

As seen in the Winter 2016 edition of the Boston Chronicle


Members of Trinity Lutheran Church had for several years considered the possibility of purchasing their first grand piano, and that dream ultimately became a reality on February 18 when a beautiful Boston Model GP-215 Performance Edition was rolled into the sanctuary.

“The events leading up to that day, and the many wonderful things that have followed, are part of an amazing story,” proclaims church pianist Janell Brakel in a town of 1,200 people with weekly church services that attract a little more than 300 congregants.

Initially, an estate gift prompted the church council to assign her the task of finding a used baby grand piano to replace an 18-year-old upright. When an additional memorial gift was added, it allowed for the purchase of not only something new but bigger.

Equipped with a Master of Arts degree in piano performance and several years of teaching and playing experience, she was determined to find the highest quality piano that the church could afford. She discovered that the mere mention of a grand piano caused eyes to sparkle and smiles to spread across faces.

“I knew there are many in our congregation who loved music and considered it an important part of worship,” Janell notes. “I believed it was possible that those with a heart for the piano and a desire for a quality instrument would likely come together to provide a large part, if not all, of the necessary funding.”

The council agreed to ask for pledges and donations, while Janell worked tirelessly spreading the word throughout the community. In less than two months, 35 individuals and families answered the call.


‘I knew there are many in our congregation who loved music and considered it an important part of worship’


“We are blessed. God worked through these incredibly generous people to accomplish something quite extraordinary,” she says. “The impact of the seven-foot Boston GP-215 on the congregation and my piano students has been overwhelmingly powerful.”

Anticipation was great, and once the piano arrived, the excitement and joy were even greater. According to Janell, “the wonderful sustain and sparkling treble, along with the rich tone and powerful bass, quickly won people’s hearts.” Rich, elegant and cool were some of the words uttered by a few of her younger students.

Remarkably, Janell didn’t find the Boston GP-215 until the very end of the search. “Two other brands were recommended for consideration before I met Alice Tillman of Schmitt Music in Brooklyn Center,” she recalls. “I had the opportunity to play three comparable 7’1” grands of three different brands in three different locations. I could hear the Steinway influence in the Boston, and the rich elegant and refined sound made it the clear winner.”

Going above and beyond offering her professional expertise and assistance in the piano selection, Ms. Tillman played at Trinity’s Celebration Concert in March, bringing along her boss, Tom Wennblom, who participated in a Boston piano Q&A following the performance.

“The legacy of those who preceded us, combined with the gifts of a small group of outstanding individuals, has provided us with a wonderful instrument to the benefit of many, both now and in the future,” concludes Janell.

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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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