Monday, December 14, 2009

Ithaca College Pianos Vandalized

Some upsetting news out of upstate NY: several dozen pianos at Ithaca College's Whalen School of Music have been vandalized this weekend. From the Ithaca Journal:
The damage was discovered at about 9 a.m. Sunday in the practice rooms on the first floor of the James J. Whalen Center for Music, college spokesman Dave Maley said. More than 60 pianos were damaged, many by having parts removed. In many cases, parts were removed but left in the room, which may help ease re pairs, but other instruments received major damage, Maley said. Technicians and staff of the music school spent much of Sunday assessing the damage, and the Office of Public Safety, with crime-scene assistance from the state police, began investigating. No dollar value of the damage was determined. The entire Whalen Center was closed at one point. The vandalism was limited to the practice rooms, which are used not only by piano students but also other students requiring the instruments or piano accompaniment.
You can also find more coverage in the Ithacan. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Ithaca College music community. One thing about music schools is that they are extremely difficult places in which to keep a secret - hopefully the police will find the vandals before they are able to do more damage.

Update: This afternoon, Ithaca College Dean of Music Gregory Woodward posted a statement on the college's website. Here is an excerpt:
Many of you may already have heard about the vandalism that occurred this past weekend in the James J. Whalen Center for Music. I wanted to take this opportunity to update members of the School of Music community as well as the wider Ithaca College community about that incident.

The good news is that nearly all of the pianos that were vandalized have been put back into service and are currently being used by students. While the extent of damage varied from piano to piano, none were completely destroyed. After a thorough assessment, it appears that the totality of the damage was less than first thought. This in no way minimizes the amount of harm and disruption caused by this senseless act. The feeling of frustration and violation felt by the students, faculty, and staff of the School of Music is very real, and it was only through many hours of work by our terrific piano technicians and others that we were able to reopen most of our practice spaces by the end of the day on Sunday.
The entire statement can be found at the Ithaca College website.


  1. How sad. I can only think this damage must have come from someone outside the music department, or outside of the school.

  2. This afternoon, Ithaca College School of Music dean Gregory Woodward issued the following statement regarding this weekend's piano vandalism incident:

  3. Thanks for the comments, Cath and Chris.

  4. Mary H.8:05 PM

    Many thanks to all the piano technicians and other staff that helped get most of the pianos back in working order and allow practice rooms to be made available so quickly, especially during jury week when rehearsal space is already limited.

  5. Anonymous3:26 PM

    In a world in which senseless violence has become commonplace...
    we tend to think of places of learning as sanctuaries, especially when those institutions are founded to foster and enhance the arts.
    Violence such as was perpetrated on Ithaca's practice pianos is particularly senseless.
    It is a great tribute to those who have brought them back to usefulness.