Kitty MacKinnon wiped away several tears on Feb. 11 as she said goodbye to an old friend.
However, her tears weren’t tears of sorrow, but of happiness, as she learned about the impact her donation of a 7-foot, 4-inch Kawai grand piano will have on Corban University’s music department and its students.
“The piano will benefit a large number of students each year as it is used to accompany choir rehearsals, jazz band rehearsals, chapel band rehearsals and for classes that occur in our large rehearsal room,” said Music Department Chair Dan Shuholm. “This donation improves the quality of pianos we have available for instruction and performance. A little more than a year ago, the instruments we were using for performances were functional, but were worn out from years of service.”
The piano was purchased for MacKinnon by her late husband as a surprise birthday present in 1993. It sat alongside another Kawai grand piano in a special room she had built to teach piano to aspiring musicians. When it came time to downsize her home, MacKinnon thought hard about where the Kawai should go.
“I thought long and hard and realized that Corban would be a perfect home,” she said. “I’m passionate about pianos and have received so many gifts in many, many ways and I am so blessed to be able to pass this gift to others.”
Throughout her life, MacKinnon has either donated or solicited donations of pianos for a church, a library and even a Steinway grand piano for the Historic Elsinore Theatre in Salem, Ore.
“I think it is so important to have a good instrument,” she said with a smile. “This is nothing but positive and I think the students will get such a joy out of playing it.”
Shuholm said this is the second piano donated to the music department in the last 12 months and is a tremendous addition to the 9-foot 1905 Horugel Grand Piano, which was completely restored and is now used in the Psalm Performing Arts Center.
“What is special about this donation is that we were not soliciting a new piano,” Shuholm said. “We understood the need, but out of the blue, Kitty contacted us in December 2010 about making the donation. It is a reminder of how God is going before us and providing what we need, when it is needed. That is a huge blessing from the Lord.”