On Saturday, January 17 at 7:30 p.m., concert pianist Daniel Finnamore will play selections from Liszt, Debussy, Ravel, and Satie to showcase Oakland Tech’s “secret jewel,” our fully restored 1917 Steinway Grand Piano.
The piano was purchased by Oakland Tech in 1917, and moved into the new auditorium when it was built in the 1960s. Over the years, the auditorium fell into disrepair and by the turn of this century, was a leaky store-room where the piano sat, neglected. A highlight of the auditorium renovation campaign was the restoration of this jewel by the class of 1961. A fundraiser led by Camille Reed provided $25,000 to bring life back into the soundboard and strings, and to purchase a new “four-hand bench.” The Oak Tech Auditorium is now a central location for many schools and outside art groups to host concerts and events, providing a comfortable venue to the community and job training to the “Tech Techies.” The auditorium restoration project is kicking off its final fundraising cycle for additional seating and box office/lobby design.
Daniel Finnamore grew up in Oakland, and has taught hundreds of students to love the piano over the past 40 years. As a musician, he specializes in romantic expressions of the 19th and 20th centuries. The concert will also feature a ballet performance by senior Deon Oddone (of Nutcracker doll fame) and an original multimedia lyric poem by local writer Kristen Caven, who is currently the PTSA president.
As Oakland Tech is celebrates its 100th year, the PTSA is using this event to recognize all of the volunteer efforts that have gone into supporting this historic school, and to call in a vision for the next century, asking the muses to help all Oakland students shape a beautiful future.