Grand celebration was held for a baby grand piano in Bovina
By Cheryl Petersen
Last fall, the congregation at the United Presbyterian Church in Bovina Center set a goal. They decided to replace the church’s upright piano with a baby grand. Funds were raised, pianos were researched, and an Essex baby grand was delivered on June 6. The Reverends Garrett and Marena Vittorio Schindler welcomed the new piano.
The Schindlers moved to Bovina two and-a-half years ago. Garrett pastors at the Bovina Center Presbyterian Church and Marena pastors as a fill-in at area churches. Marena’s professional background is in music, however the she met Garrett while attending Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Kentucky.
A good match
Garrett graduated from seminary one year before Marena.
“While I was finishing up college, Garrett searched the National Presbyterian System to look for a church to pastor. The system is sort of like a dating service for pastors and churches,” explained Marena. “He found this church in Bovina Center and interviewed and was accepted. After I graduated we moved here.”
Once the Essex piano made its humble appearance in church, the old upright piano was granted more usefulness in the basement. “The upright piano did have a squeaky pedal and not so good tone, but it will be fine for activities in the basement,” added Marena Schindler. “The edifice upstairs has enough room for the new baby grand.”
Thrilled to high notes, the local talent mobilized and the congregation hosted a Piano Dedication and Dinner Reception on August 17. The piano shined through classical, sacred, and pop songs.
Marena backed up Marie Tucker on the violin while performing three movements. Heleena Hilson and Elizabeth Lamport played their flutes as Monica Liddle played the piano in another piece, “Siciliano” from Sonata in Eb Major by Johann Sebastian Bach.
Humor and happiness blended as JoAnne Kaufmann sang “La De Da Sonata,” with hilarious lyrics by Richard Perlmutter. The song, accompanied by Marena, and based on Wolgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 15 in C Major, moved right along with Kaufmann keeping up trilling, “This sonata’s gotta lot of da’s, with a tone more do’s el do’s, do da do do.”
The young Sylvia Liddle dazzled everyone with her performance of “Kecht Ruprecht, by Robert Schumann, and again during the Sacred Songs in a duet with her mother, Monica Liddle.
The piano dedication came with an education. Garrett explained that Bach’s grandson, Wilhem Friedrich Ernst Bach created a comical piano song, “Das Dreyblatt,” that required three piano players. “Bach’s grandson wrote the song during the romantic period and figured it was a way he could sit between two beautiful women on the piano bench, close, and yet not be reprimanded,” said Garrett. Performers Christine Batey, Monica Liddle, and Marena Vittorio cracked the audience up with antics.
During the sacred songs, Christine Batey tinkled the piano ivories and Monica Liddle pulled the stops on the organ and roused the audience to their feet to sing “For the Music of Creation.” The Bovina United Presbyterian Choir impressed every- one with “America the Beautiful” and “Love Lifted Me.” Jane Stewart, a Capella, pleased the ears with “Let’s Go to Church.”
With Marena at the piano, Marjorie Miller sang, “Morning Has Broken,” then moved into pop songs, “Everybody Says Don’t” and “Who Knows Where The Time Goes?” commenting after the first piece, “I like this Essex piano, it’s built like me, bigger in the rear.” Her wit fit nicely with the lyrics of “Everybody Says Don’t,” encouraging the listener not to listen to naysayers but to “Do,” but “Don’t be afraid.”
A piano duet with Marena and Rose McPheely neared the end of the show, which was concluded with another duet by Marena and Garrett Schindler, singing, “We are so hungry. The door is open, so get up and go eat.”
Dinner was ready, blessed, and served in the basement.
The piano dedication represented instruments of joy and respect, not a mistake could be heard. The special event was even touched by a surprise. “My mom and dad surprised us by traveling here for the dedication,” said Marena. “They came from Indiana.”
Family members have been to upstate New York to visit the Schindlers, who love to kayak the Pepacton Reservoir. “During the summer we attend community events. So for two weeks we’re pretty busy and then the weather cools off again,” said Garrett. “We also put a lot of miles on our car because nothing is close.”
The Bovina Center Presbyterian Church was organized in 1805 and moved to the current location in 1859.