southampton, pa – When a new Boston Performance Edition Grand
Piano rolls onto the stage of the 258-seat auditorium at southampton Estates, good times are sure to follow.
Paul McCullagh, a resident of the upscale retirement community in Bucks County, teamed with Jeffrey Uhlig, a critically-acclaimed classical pianist, to select a splendid alternative to an ailing instrument that had seen better days. They conducted a successful fundraising campaign to purchase a beautiful Boston GP-215 from Jacobs Music Company in Philadelphia.
“The folks at Southampton knew they wanted a first-class piano and Jacobs Music was the right place to find it,” says Uhlig, who holds a Master of Music degree from All- Steinway West Chester University. “Valerie Vogt (vice president Steinway & Sons sales) was very helpful in showing us the choices in the showroom.”
A collaborative pianist and chamber musician, Uhlig has performed with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera. He also served as principal keyboard with the Ocean City Pops and Princeton Symphony Orchestra. “In the past few years, I have played Boston pianos and have been very satisfied with their tone quality and sensitive action,” he notes.
Uhlig graced stages across the United States and Russia, but holds a special place in his heart for Southampton Estates. “It is a great pleasure because the residents are such eager listeners. They love it when world-class artists – like those from the Philadelphia Orchestra – come to their home to perform with their beautiful new piano.”
Residents also enjoy visits from pianistsinger Fred Miller, who brings Tin Pan Alley to life through his encyclopedic “Songsin Lecture” series. Irving Berlin, George & Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Jerome Kern are among the many favorites. “My greatest satisfaction comes from people who enthusiastically describe the spiritual gift this program has given them,” he says.
The Southampton Community Band, which takes the stage once a week for rehearsals, has grown to more than 60 members ranging in age from 10 to 80.
Student musicians are also discovering a wonderful new venue with a warm, receptive audience. “They love it, love it, love it,” notes Lisa Syms-Cartledge, Southampton’s Life Engagement Coordinator. “When they sit down to a grand piano of such magnitude and can give a heartfelt performance, they
are absolutely thrilled. I heard from several teachers about how their children were delighted by the experience. And their parents seem just as excited as they are. As word spreads through local music teachers, more new families are getting a chance to visit us,” she says. “At Southampton, music is a constant and I think our variety of performances adds to the overall well-being of our residents.”
The 75-acre complex offers independent living apartments, assisted living suites, skilled care beds and hospice services. “Our residents belong to a true community that has grown largely by word-of-mouth from people in local neighborhoods,” she says
These days, word around Southampton is that the piano never sounded better.
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