By Avery Hoggans Petzold
Early this year, North Eugene High School received a gift from The University of Oregon: two grand pianos. These pianos are mahogany, and they were a gift for the North Eugene choral program. North Eugene has three choirs: the North Eugene Concert Choir, the North Eugene Varsity Choir, and Hi-Tones.
When the pianos arrived in early February the choirs were ecstatic. The pianos that north had previously owned were not grand, in any sense, nor were they good enough to match the program’s growing sound. Throughout the program’s history, there had never before been a grand piano, let alone two. In fact, they were the last school in the 4J district to receive or purchase them. The old pianos were quite frankly worn out. To many choral students, these pianos were and are a symbol of hope and resilience that echoes throughout the auditorium walls.
One of these pianos had a very special history. The baby grand piano, in the auditorium, has a storied past. That piano was the same piano that “Mighty Oregon,” the University of Oregon pledge song, was written on in 1919. After the song was written and the professor who wrote it retired the piano was tucked away and forgotten. When it was found over a century later, it was in need of lots of repairs. After the repairs were made and the piano had been revived it and the grand piano were sent to North Eugene for the choral programs use.
Overall, these pianos have been, and will continue to be, a blessing to the choral program at North Eugene. North’s choral director, Meghan Perdue, has raved about the pianos saying “The nicer sound of the pianos supports the sound and power of our singing.”Although the choral program at North Eugene has suffered in the past from lack of quality equipment they can now grow and strive towards bigger things thanks to the generosity of the University of Oregon, along with their own talent and hard work.