Rich Boston sound makes dance a joy At Alabama School of the Fine Arts

As seen in the Winter 2016 edition of the Boston Chronicle

 

Marrying music with dance takes a certain kind of patience. Accompanists must strike a delicate balance between the musical score and the requirements of a dance technique class. To provide that special bridge, the Alabama School of the Fine Arts recently selected a Boston GP-178 from the Alabama Piano Gallery in Birmingham.

“We considered the Steinway-designed Boston because of its reputation and chose it because of the quality of its sound,” says Martha Faesi, a dance professional who has performed with prestigious companies including Ballet Royal de Wallonie, Scapino Ballet, and the National Ballet of Iran. She joined ASFA in 2009 and teaches ballet, pointe, repertoire, dance composition, and dance history.

“Our ballet accompanists tested pianos in the Alabama Piano Gallery showroom and unanimously voted in favor of the one that now graces the school’s Center Studio. They felt this piano had the potential to fill the space with beautiful sound. This potential has been realized over and over again,” Martha says. “Suzanne Beaudry, ASFA’s primary accompanist, commented that she felt this piano was particularly lyrical with a depth of tone and dynamic range that enabled her to play with rich musicality instead of merely hitting notes. Indeed, our studio is now filled with the joyful sounds of beautiful music providing impetus and inspiration for the dancers. Everyone is smiling!”

APG’s Kevin and Jon McClaran created an exclusive selection room experience for ASFA staff, setting up different Bostons in the recital hall. “Space-wise, the Boston GP-178 fit perfectly, and the wide-tailed design allowed the instrument to easily fill the space of their large dance room,” Kevin explains. “The low tension scale provides for an extensive dynamic range full of color. This piano is played for several hours five to six days a week, and a Boston’s durability can withstand long-term use with consistent reliability.”

 

 

ASFA is a public, state-funded school where students from grades 7-12 can pursue six specialty areas of study: Dance, Music, Creative Writing, Theatre Arts, Visual Arts, and Math/Science. Located in the heart of Birmingham’s Cultural District, ASFA has emphasized creativity and divergent thinking for more than 40 years – embracing largely independent concepts that some other institutions only began exploring in the 21st century.

“ASFA students have a deep engagement in learning, fostered by a passionate and caring faculty. They are better equipped to succeed because they are motivated and inspired,” says Executive Director Dr. Michael Meeks.

This year, 92 percent of ASFA’s seniors went on to colleges or conservatories on merit scholarships, compared to the national average of 15 percent.

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