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Community donates pianos and keyboards for UC students to use

Posted: 7:57 PM, Mar 23, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-24 13:23:34-04

CINCINNATI — Last week, WCPO reported that some College Conservatory of Music students were looking for pianos and keyboards in order to practice after the University of Cincinnati temporarily closed its doors during the coronavirus crisis.

The community heard the students' pleas and stepped up in a big way.

Monday morning, a U-Haul delivered the keys to success for several students like Jimmy Cheung, a second-year doctor of musical arts pianist.

“It’s like losing your phone and one day where you cannot check your message or social media account,” Cheung said.

Since UC closed their buildings, most classes moved online.

“I would not have imagined what we are doing today even if you asked me a couple of weeks ago,” said Michael Chertock, professor of piano and chair of UC's piano department.

Chertock and two others - Nicholas Conda, whose mother teaches music at UC, and piano student Diana Chuback - spent most of the morning dropping off pianos and carrying them up several flights of stairs for some students.

“We have a lot of students who are international and some who are very far away and it is not practical for them to return home right now during the coronavirus face-to-face shut down,” Chertock said.

Donations came from people in the community, businesses and even Milford High School.

“In the huge scheme of things, it may not seem desperately important, but to these individuals it means a great deal,” Chertock said.

Second-year doctoral student Curtis Pavey said playing piano is his life.

"It feels really wonderful," Pavey said. "I was really worried this last week about how I was going to practice and how I was going to maintain my class piano during this time."

Chertock thanked the public and said the department has enough keyboards for all the students in need.

Chertock suggested wiping down the keys of a piano if you're allowing a student inside your home to use it during the quarantine.