Efforts to raise funds to refurbish Haddo House Choral and Operatic Society’s grand Steinway piano received a major boost last week.
A grand auction of promises held at the Victoria Hall in Ellon on Friday was a great success. Earlier in the week, the piano was packed up and sent to London for the start of work and HHCOS also received a cheque towards the project from Udny Community Trust.
Despite a fairly modest turn-out at Friday’s auction, good prices were achieved and host Mark Stephen, from BBC Scotland, entertained and encouraged the audience to “dig deep”.
One of the most popular lots was the opportunity to have an old fashioned afternoon tea and to learn to play a tune on a fully-refurbished Erhard Grecian harp made in 1831.
Top prices went to the three holiday homes, stays in which were donated by society members.
Organiser Louise McGregor said: “After a few post auction bids, the total raised for the evening was more than £3,000 and we are extremely grateful to all donors and purchasers.
“The piano has already gone back to Steinway and now we can afford to get her back again. We are very excited waiting for her return in the New Year.”
Following the auction, the fund for the piano restoration, boosted by the backing from the Udny Community Trust Company Ltd and other organisations such as the Hugh Fraser Foundation, has all but reached its target of £31,000.
The piano is scheduled to return to Haddo in January, when there will be a ‘welcome home’ recital by pianist Kathryn Stott.
It will be as good as a new instrument - a replacement would have cost more than £100,000 - enabling Haddo House Hall to continue attracting national and international musicians.