Pianos in the dumpster? Instrument technician left ‘speechless’ as Indiana State University dumps $10k grand

21 May 2020, 12:19 | Updated: 21 May 2020, 14:01

Piano technician finds grand piano left in dumpster for waste
Piano technician finds grand piano left in dumpster for waste. Picture: Facebook / Dean May

By Sian Hamer

Dean May, the piano technician who discovered the discarded grand, said it had “nothing wrong with it”.

Many people have been left outraged after a beautiful grand piano was left in a dumpster for waste.

Piano technician Dean May located the scrapped instrument after being informed by members of the community that the Indiana State University (ISU) was “filling dumpsters up with pianos.”

“So I drive by to take a look,” May explained in a Facebook post. “This is a $10k classic piano that had nothing wrong with it.”

Dean May, the piano technician who discovered the discarded piano in a dumpset, said it had “nothing wrong with it”.
Dean May, the piano technician who discovered the discarded piano in a dumpset, said it had “nothing wrong with it”. Picture: Dean May

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May decided to research the backstory of the situation which had left him “speechless”.

“Most if not all the pianos were regularly maintained and very serviceable instruments,” he said. “Apparently the bean counters decided to cut maintenance spending by buying a bunch of new digital pianos.”

The dumped piano, pictured above, came from the teaching studio of one of the university’s respected instructors, May added.

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Mark Alesia, ISU director of communications, has since said in a statement that the university had “repeatedly” tried to donate around ten old pianos to community organisations.

He also said the “pianos were virtually beyond repair” and concluded that discarding the pianos was “the last option after other options had been exhausted”.

Speaking to Classic FM, May disputed Alesia’s statement, adding that he had personally spoken with the ISU’s piano technician who had made an offer to purchase several of the pianos, that was accepted.

“ISU’s talking point, these were all worn out pianos, is factually incorrect,” he said.

I probably had 20 people contact me today to let me know ISU was filling dumpsters up with pianos. So I drive by to take...

Posted by Dean May on Saturday, 16 May 2020

“No doubt some of the pianos were in badly scarred cabinets,” May continued. “But they were all playable and were up to near standard pitch.

“And some of them were in quite good condition, particularly the Knabe grand in the picture and a Yamaha grand nearby. There are two Knabe’s on eBay right now in similar condition for near $8k and they are only 5'6”. The one in the picture is bigger and worth more money. The Steinway upright I saw also had market value.

“This was a colossal blunder. But you won’t ever hear that from a spokesman.”