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EKMTA students try out resident harpsichord

The East Kootenay Music Teacher’s Association (EKMTA) hosted a special event for piano students
Harpsichord recital performers, left to right: Israela Van Rensburg, Sariya Adnan Barron (front), Anisa Adnan Barron (back), Cole McCulloch (front), Brady McCulloch (back), Arne Sahlen, Sylis McCulloch, Christine Segarty, Jude Swinwood.

The East Kootenay Music Teacher’s Association (EKMTA) hosted a special event for piano students at the Centre 64 in Kimberley on Saturday, May 11, that featured the resident harpsichord.

This event was a unique opportunity for piano students to learn about and try-out their repertoire on a historical instrument.  

Harpsichords are the keyboard predecessor to the piano and were used widely from the 15th to early 19th century.  They use a much different system to produce sound, mainly the plucking of strings versus the hitting of strings.

This unique sounding instrument also requires a much different approach to playing and gives musicians an insight into the stylistic approach to music that was composed for harpsichords.

Piano teacher Arne Sahlen showed students the inside mechanisms of the harpsichord and then students were given the opportunity to perform on the instrument.

The harpsichord at the Centre 64 was donated by the late Wendy Panattoni, a former music teacher, enthusiast, and arts supporter.  It was previously used as the house instrument with the Symphony of the Kootenays, formerly Kootenay Chamber Orchestra (which Wendy Panattoni co-founded) thus noting its sturdy frame unlike some of the more delicate and ornate harpsichords of the time

The EKMTA would like to thank Centre 64 for the use of their gallery and instrument for this event.  It was a very memorable experience for the students and the EKMTA wishes to offer this as an annual event.