Rare piano finds permanent home at Dearborn church

Photo courtesy of Margaret Blohm
Bosendorfer Imperial Concert Grand Piano at Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church

DEARBORN – The sanctuary of Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church is home to a rare Bosendorfer Imperial Concert Grand Piano purchased in April from a private owner in Denver.

Bosendorfer pianos, hand built in Vienna, Austria, are world renowned for their innovation and rich tonal quality.

The piano, which has 97 keys instead of the traditional 88 keys, is recognized as a musical instrument phenomenon. Some of the world’s most famous concert musicians have concertized and endorsed the Imperial Bosendorfer. This list includes Liszt, Bartok, Debussy, Ravel and Wagner.

“This piano is a wonderful complement to our church’s Austin pipe organ,” said Jean Thayer, Cherry’s Hill’s music director and organist who is also a concert pianist.

The Austin organ was manufactured by one of the oldest organ manufacturers in the United States. The pipe organ was custom built for Cherry Hill’s sanctuary with 43 ranks and more than 2,000 pipes. According to church records, the organ was first played at Cherry Hill Presbyterian in 1959 and continues to be in excellent playing condition.

“The Bosendorfer is a marvelous instrument that enriches our worship,” said Reverend Neeta R. Nichols, Cherry Hill’s interim pastor. “It is Cherry Hill’s privilege to share this unique piano with the community.”

Cherry Hill Presbyterian seeks to extend its community outreach by making the Bosendorfer piano available for others to enjoy. The church welcomes individuals, music groups and other organizations to contact the church about opportunities for concerts and recitals that can be held in the church’s 500-seat sanctuary.

“You won’t believe the difference in sound quality until you hear this piano,” said John Matthews Jr., who is a member of Cherry Hill Presbyterian and serves on the church board. “It’s exceptional.”

For more information, call the church office at 313-563-4800 or go to www.cherryhillchurch.org.