For Immediate Release
November 29, 2011Contact: Heather Hamilton, Director of Education
Telephone: (859) 254-8492 x400
Cell Phone: (309) 230-1408
LOCAL PIANO STORE CELEBRATES 40th
LOUISVILLE, Ky., Nov. 29 – Gist Piano Center has been Kentucky’s premier piano outlet and service hub for 40 years and, in celebration of this landmark anniversary, Gist has organized activities all across the state of Kentucky.
“This is an important year for us,” said John Gist, President. “Kentucky has changed quite a bit since my dad opened the business in 1971 and we’re excited to be in a position of growth – despite a tornado, an electrical fire, the Watterson Expressway expansion and the worst economy our business has ever seen. After 40 years, we’re still Kentucky’s trusted piano hub and we have a lot to celebrate.”
A History of Service
Gist Piano Center’s year-long Anniversary celebration will begin with a new video series on Gist’s YouTube channel. “We believe that the key to our success over the years has been our partnerships with local teachers, musicians and iconic organizations such as The Kentucky Center, The University of Louisville and the Lexington Philharmonic,” said Gist. “We want to acknowledge the role our relationship with these folks played in shaping our business model. The ‘History of Service’ videos will feature rare interviews with the heads of these organizations and even a nostalgic word or two from my dad.”
The first video in Gist’s History of Service series will feature Stephen Klein, President of The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. It is scheduled to premiere on November 29th with new “A History of Service” videos to follow in two-week intervals. Gist’s YouTube Channel is located at www.youtube.com/user/gistpianocenter.
Expansion and Remodel
In addition to the new video series, Gist will launch an extensive expansion and remodel plan – including a new recital facility and piano showroom for the Poplar Level and Watterson location in Louisville and a new piano lessons facility, recital hall, print music department and digital piano showroom for the Harrodsburg Road and Man ‘O War location in Lexington.
“Over the years, we have emerged as the last local, family-owned, full-service piano house in the state,” said Gist. “To meet Kentucky’s growing need, we’re maintaining our commitment to fine acoustic pianos like Steinway & Sons while expanding into print music, education and digital technologies.”
Work on both locations began in early November. In Louisville, Gist’s new, state-of-the-art digital piano showroom is already online and the new recital facility is scheduled to open in February of 2012. Gist’s remodeled Louisville piano showroom will open in May of 2012. In Lexington, Gist will double the size of their existing facility and incorporate new technologies and a complete re-branding as part of the new design. The new Lexington facility is scheduled to open in February of 2012.
“Our Lexington business has been on a steady and dramatic incline,” said John Gist. “We need more room to accommodate the growing needs of this community. We intend our new Lexington store to be a center for education as well as a recital venue and a cutting-edge retail space. ”
Concerts and Promotions
Gist’s 40th Anniversary promotional plan will feature a number of concerts, a workshop by E.L. Lancaster - Legendary Alfred Publishing Company Editor and Composer, a new promotional fundraiser for The Lexington Philharmonic and the World’s first underground piano recital.
“Our 40th Anniversary is just as much about our future as our past,” said James Harding, Director of Marketing for Gist. “We’re partnering with our vendors to bring a number of exciting concert musicians to Kentucky, to offer our educators new clinics and workshop opportunities and to showcase Kentucky’s talented students in new and exciting ways. Stay tuned! We have a lot going on this year.”
The Speed Steinway
Finally, in homage to the important role this instrument played in securing the relationship Gist has with Steinway & Sons and The Louisville Orchestra, Gist will once again rebuild the famous Model A Steinway piano that Ron Gist founded the business upon. Part of a matching pair of Steinway pianos originally owned by The Speed family of Louisville, Ron Gist acquired and rebuilt the Steinway A – making it available as the premier performance piano for The Louisville Orchestra. Finally, in 1975, Steinway & Sons – curious as to why The Louisville Orchestra preferred Ron Gist’s piano to that of their local dealer – visited Gist Piano Center and appointed Gist the Official, Factory-Authorized Steinway & Sons Agent for Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
“The piano started it all,” said John Gist. “After 40 years of service to Gist and to the Kentucky music community, we thought it would be fitting to again restore the instrument to peak performance condition.”
Once completed, the piano will tour the state of Kentucky as part of Gist’s 40th Anniversary celebration. “In this climate – where piano stores all across the country are closing stores and going out of business, we feel honored to have a bright future,” said John Gist. “We owe it all to our clients, to our partners and to those who have supported us over the years. We hope they will join us as we celebrate our musical future.”
GIST PIANO CENTER began in 1971 as a small piano repair shop on Preston Highway in Louisville. Today, Gist Piano Center is Kentucky’s only local, family-owned, full-service piano firm and the area’s only authorized Steinway & Sons representative. A full refinishing, repair, and rebuilding service center, Gist services nearly 4000 Kentuckiana pianos per year. Gist is also the exclusive piano service provider for such iconic organizations as the Kentucky Center, the University of Louisville, the Louisville Orchestra, and the Lexington Philharmonic. Gist also provides recital facilities and a full print music department to educators across Kentucky and online at www.gistpianocenter.com. Kentucky residents are invited to share their Gist stories on Gist’s Official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/gistpianocenter.