Ask James – How Did Halloweekend Come About?

Halloweekend Logo - old vs newVery few people know that Halloweekend actually began in 2007 as a piano sale.  I was working for a music company in Iowa at the time and, as luck would have it, we were forced to reschedule our Fall event due to a scheduling conflict.  The only available weekend was the weekend before Halloween, which is not a traditional time to talk about piano playing.  As I was setting up for the sale (and struggling to find a marketing plan for the event), I received an iPod player piano system (new technology at the time) and I decided to make it the centerpiece of the entire weekend.   Friday and Saturday night, we hosted “ghostly performances” by “Ludwig Van BOOthoven” (who performed “not quite live” in our recital hall).  The kids were in awe of what looked like a ghost playing the piano.  The concerts were very short, we gave out some free candy and we even hosted a pumpkin decorating contest.  It was a fun weekend, but not a great piano sale.

Halloweekend 2008

Susan McPeters from WQPT Television (Quad Cities, IA and IL) reads spooky stories to Halloweekend families (2008)

Early the following year, one of our piano teacher friends (a member of a program that I would eventually retool and call Partners In Education or PIE) mentioned to me that she would really love to have a fun and informal performance event around a theme.  Christmas was too busy… so we needed another holiday that would make sense.  My mind immediately went back to Halloweekend.

Thus, in 2008, we launched our first Halloweekend piano recital.  It was a simple matter (without all the “SAVE YOURSELVES…a ton of money” puns), but the kids LOVED it.  We even invited a local TV personality to come in and read spooky stories to the kids.  We didn’t have all the flashy lights and our tiny fog machine was too small to make any difference, but Halloweekend 2008 is still one of my favorite memories from Iowa.

The Halloweekend Staff

James Harding, Heather Hamilton and Matthew Presley are searching for missing students at Halloweekend 2012.

In April of 2009, I moved to Louisville and joined the Gist Piano Center family.  My first priority was reaching out to piano teachers and their students as I had done in Iowa.  With some help from the very supportive and enthusiastic folks at Gist, I was able to build what is now our Partners In Education program – the largest piano student and teacher outreach program of its kind in the US.

Over the years, Halloweekend has grown into the largest Halloween-themed piano event in the United States.  This year, we’re expecting over 300 students to participate…if they dare.  Halloweekend has been featured in national magazines, area newspapers and even the local TV news. Everyone who has participated in the spooky fun has gone home with some lasting memories.

Who knows what horrific future awaits us at Halloweekend 2015?!  Only those brave enough to attend will find out…

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New Faces at Gist Piano Center!

Our family is growing and we’d like to introduce you to our three newest faces.  Please join us in welcoming them to the Gist Piano Center family!

In Louisville


Darian Payne was part of our internship program with Bellarmine University and she has officially joined us as our Director of Public Relations.  A recent graduate of Bellarmine, she majored in  Music and Arts Administration with an emphasis on  Piano Pedagogy and Accompanying (with a minor in Business).  You’ll see her work on our YouTube Channel, on Facebook and in all of our media (and social media) outlets.  Darian also plays viola spends her free time with her two Chihuahuas,  Roxxi and Chilli.  Check out Darian’s FIRST YouTube video at Gist!

 

In Lexington

Lauren Hines
Lauren Hines has been a pianist for over 12 years.  A consummate artist, Lauren loves to paint and draw in her spare time.  She also has quite the zoo at home with a Chihuahua named “Taco Bell”, a rabbit named Ellie, and Vincent and Picasso – her two fish.  You can see Lauren part-time in our Lexington store and at the exciting PIE events coming up soon!

kate
Gist Piano Academy in Lexington is proud to welcome our newest piano teacher – Kate Sivy – to our Lexington studio!  Kate has been teaching piano for over 15 years.  She has a Bachelors in Piano Performance from Geneva College and a Masters in Piano Performance from Ohio State University.  Specializing in students from five on up, Kate is a fun person who loves to share the Magic of Making Music with her students.  Welcome, Kate!

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Roland Offers Special Financing For a Limited Time Only

approvedIf you have been thinking about a digital piano for your home, you won’t want to miss out on a new offer from Roland Digital Pianos.

Now through September 1, Roland is offering you a choice of three special financing offers, including a rare 12-Month SAME AS CASH special with no down payment required!

Click here for more information.

Now, you can take advantage of our Red Tag Summer Clearance Sale AND this rare financing offer from Roland.  …but hurry.  This offer is only good on in-stock pianos and for a limited time.  Don’t miss out on your chance to own a Roland!

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Clavinova CVP-600 Series Clearance

Clavinova CVP-705

Coming Soon:  The new Clavinova CVP-705 digital piano (shown in black walnut).

If you’re a fan of the Yamaha Clavinova, you’ll be delighted to hear that the new Clavinova CVP-700 Series is coming soon!  …so Gist Piano Center is working closely with Yamaha to clear out all the remaining Clavinova CVP-601, Clavinova CVP-605, and Clavinova CVP-609 models we still have in stock.  Stop in now for a quick demo and a KILLER deal on your new Clavinova!  Each piano will come with a FREE Bonus Accessory Package worth over $200!

…or, for the absolute best price, check out our Red Tag Summer Clearance Event.  How much can you save in one weekend?  Stop in and find out!

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Yamaha Piano Price Increase Coming July 1

Price Increase AheadIf you have been considering a new Yamaha Piano, Clavinova, Disklavier, Yamaha Silent Piano or Hybrid Piano for your home, you might want to make a decision quickly.

Gist Piano center has just learned that Yamaha’s new price list will come out on July 1 and many of your favorite instruments will see an increase.

Piano price increases are unavoidable as the cost of wood and materials goes up each year.  Fortunately, this increase will happen just after our Bellarmine University Piano Sale – so now is a great time to select a piano, save a ton of money, take advantage of Yamaha’s Summer Rebate program AND avoid the 2015 price increase on July 1.

…but make your move now.  In order for your piano purchase to qualify for the 2014 price, the piano must be in stock or must SHIP from Yamaha before July 1.  Don’t wait!  Select your Yamaha piano now before the prices go up!

The same piano will cost you hundreds more if you wait.

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