A grand piano for the Logan Middle School Auditorium was dedicated in grand style Sept. 6 with a concert featuring La Crosse native David Marck, whose family support was key to the community fundraising drive to buy the instrument.
The new Yamaha C5X piano, purchased through Leithold’s Music in La Crosse, will be available for student music groups from Logan Middle School and Logan High School (which often uses the Logan Middle School Auditorium for performances). It also will be available for community groups or touring bands performing in the auditorium, which was part of the original Logan High School building constructed in 1939. The School District of La Crosse has recently refurbished the sound system and improved lighting in the facility, plus made other improvements.
More than $42,000 was raised to support installation of the piano, including $23,000 from the Bob and Jean Marck Family Fund of the La Crosse Community Foundation, which was established in memory of the longtime owners and operators of Community Camera in Downtown La Crosse. Bob Marck passed away in 2010 and Jean in 2013. Most of the remaining funds were raised through a fundraising campaign led by the La Crosse Public Education Foundation. (See donor list below.)
The dedication concert drew an audience of students, teachers, administrators and donors, who were treated to a wide-ranging mix of classical and jazz music featuring David Marck, an acclaimed New York jazz pianist. He was joined by many friends, including Karyn Quinn on bass, Greg Balfany on saxophone, Rich MacDonald on drums, Joe Hauser on harmonica and Mark Lakmann (the Logan High band director) on trombone.
Logan High Senior Ben Smith, who helped with the fundraising campaign, performed a piano solo — and later joined the ensemble for a jazz number to wrap up the show.
Steve Michaels, supervisor of fine arts for the School District of La Crosse, kicked off the dedication ceremony with a special thank you to the donors, particularly the Marck family. He noted that buying a new grand piano was in many respects a “once in a lifetime” event, given the likelihood that the instrument will serve District students for up to 100 years.
As David Marck said in an interview with News 8 WKBT, “When you buy a good instrument like this, it lasts a long time. When we first started the challenge people asked ‘do you need to spend that much money?’ And yes you do. But it will last for 50, 60, 70, 80, 100 years. Long after we’re gone there will be kids and musicians making noise on this thing.”
He told News 19 WXOW the piano provides a high-quality sound for student musicians, especially compared to the old upright piano it replaces. “It’s like the difference between a Hyundai and a Mercedes or something.”
Marck said he and his sisters, Roberta and Sara, were happy to support the project with funds from the endowment created by their parents at the La Crosse Community Foundation. “It really exemplifies what my folks had in mind which was community building, but having a whole lot of fun doing it,” Marck told News 19. “What better way to do it than with music?”
Many thanks to the generous community donors whose gifts made it possible to purchase this truly grand piano for the Logan Middle School Auditorium.
Bob and Jean Marck Family Fund of the La Crosse Community Foundation
La Crosse Public Education Foundation
Norman L. Gillette Sr. Family Fund of the La Crosse Community Foundation
Locher Family Foundation
Roger & Patricia Roslansky
Logan High School Band Parents Organization
La Crosse Kiwanis Club
- Dr. Hans & Margaret Anderson
- Apryl Denny
- John Havlicek
- Erin Hofland
- Kathy Iverson
- Memorials to Alice Kauffman
- Chris & Jodi Locher
- Eric & Ytcher Locher
- Matthew & Tonia Locher
- Sandra Locher
- Steve & Deborah Michaels
- Andrew & Dawn Pahl
- Elizabeth Ramlow
- Marc Ranger & Elizabeth Goli Ranger
- Kelly Raymer
- Mike & Renee Redman
- Reed Music Studios
- Charles & Lenore Rodman
- Stefan Smith & Shu Li
- Jack Udell & Amanda Strosahl
- Hongying Xu
- Linda Zielke