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Piano lab strikes a chord in Morgan County

July 22, 2005|by TRISH RUDDER

trishr@herald-mail.com

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - The piano lab at Berkeley Springs High School will have a new space in the band room.

A 15-by-30-foot room is to be constructed in time for the new school year, George Ward, Berkeley Springs High School principal, told the Morgan County Board of Education on Tuesday evening.

Grants from the W.Va. Legislative Digest and the Clay Foundation will pay for the construction of the lab and the equipment and software to accommodate the 50 students scheduled to use it for the new school year, said Pat Springer, the lab facilitator.

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More than 70 students applied for the piano lab program, said Ward.

Springer said electronic pianos for 10 students and one teacher will be purchased to expand the program.

Each electronic piano will cost about $3,000, said Laura Hovermale, the fine arts and adult education director for Morgan County Schools.

Springer said Del. Charles S. Trump, R-Morgan, helped to secure Legislative Digest funding of $25,000 for the expansion of the music program in Morgan County.

She said $15,000 of that will go toward the piano lab and will be matched by the Clay Foundation in Kanawha County, W.Va.

Lab funding has been supported by local businesses, organizations and individuals, officials said.

The program will also be available in the afternoon and evening through the community and adult education program, Springer said.

Hovermale said the piano lab "can be used with community education that benefits everybody."

"We are ready to roll on this. I am so excited about this program," Hovermale said.

Springer told the school board officials that any available funds left over could be used for a scholarship program for those who cannot afford the piano lab fee in the community and adult education program.

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