Hello and welcome to this latest update. Summer is upon us, the sun has been shining, BBQ sizzling and the football, well let’s not go there…We are on the brink of a general election, polling cards at the ready, and hoping for a shot in the arm for the economy whoever sits in power. I always enjoy an election and the many conversations had with customers leading up to it. It would be fair to say that most of our customers are disillusioned with what is and fearful of what probably will be, makes for a great chat over coffee. This time in a couple of days we will know one way or the other.

The showroom has been quiet in the last couple of months. Things like elections and football tournaments traditionally do effect things like the buying of pianos but this period has been particularly quiet. The challenges facing our trade are great and stetch across Europe and China where the demand for the piano has been exponential until recently. Struggling economies and cost of living increases are undoubtedly playing their part at this time. Despite the quieter time we have enjoyed visits at the showroom, an order of Wilh. Steinberg pianos is due in from Germany today, replacements for models recently sold.

In May we were invited to attend a concert at the Oxford University Students Union. The students Union have recently received a beautiful Shigeru grand piano and Kawai supported this concert in celebration of this. We were treated to a tour of the historic buildings, followed by a champagne reception before being ushered into the debating hall for the concert. There sat a magnificent Shigeru concert grand piano ready for the maestro to entertain us through its power and tonal beauty! The maestro in question was the wonderful Harry the Piano, an exceptionally talented pianist who improvises his way through the concert interspersed with wit and charm. Towards the end of the concert Harry asked for requests with Dancing Queen in the style of Mendelssohn, Tom & Jerry in the style of Mozart to name just two of half a dozen or so requests that Harry effortless entertained us with. A truly remarkable and enjoyable concert, Harry used the power and beauty of the Shigeru to its full capacity and left an audience in awe of his talent. The concert was followed by dinner at the Ivy and an overnight stay in Oxford, thank you Kawai for such a memorable and enjoyable treat! WE do of course stock the Shigeru SK2 and SK3…..

We hosted a thoroughly enjoyable event at the showroom this weekend just gone. Vanessa Martin, an exceptional piano teacher from Kingsclere, arranged for some of her pupils to come to the showroom for a Mama Mia workshop! She had arranged parts for the pupils, who ranged in ability from beginner to advanced, and under her guidance produced a fine version of the famous Abba song with many of our grand pianos being played at the same time. I love being able to host events such as this, the participants always gain so much enjoyment and them, it isn’t every day that so many pianos get to be played together, truly a joyous occasion. Thank you, Vanessa for arranging this and giving so much enjoyment to so many people in my showroom! Following the workshop Jonathan Luff visited the showroom with one of his pupils to record a performance on one of our grand pianos, it gives me great pleasure to be able to help in this way.

On a personal note I recently enjoyed taking part in the Blenheim triathlon with my eldest son, George. It seemed like a good idea when we signed up for it…and actually it was a wonderful, shared experience with George. We both trained for it although out first practice open water swim was the day before! The weather on the day was glorious, the lake was calm and clear and the bike and running routes were scenic, if not a little hilly! I manged to come sixth in my age group, although there weren’t that many in this particular age category! Although I have done triathlon before it is at least twenty five years since the last one so it was a slightly different experience this time but great fun nonetheless.

On a final note, piano tuning remains incredibly busy and a great joy. I am shortly leaving for Overton where a number of pianos await my attention. Richard has returned from his European tour with the band Hayseed Dixie and Vicky is working hard to keep up with our local tunings. On that note I must depart for Overton, as ever all are welcome at the showroom. If any teachers reading this would like to host an event similar to Vanessa’s do let us know, we are delighted to be able to facilitate musical events at the showroom.

All the best


07778 569839 | www.benwheelerpianos.co.uk

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