George Nellas has played a major role in keeping music alive in Hawaii for more than 20 years. Before becoming president of Piano Planet, Hawaii’s largest dealer of new and used pianos, Nellas would loan instruments to performers in need.
“We’ve donated the use of many pianos at no charge to countless musicians, piano recitals, piano teachers and organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America and Living Local, just to name a few,” says Nellas.
Since 2001 he has extended this outreach by giving away numerous new and used pianos to nonprofit organizations and individuals who cannot afford to purchase a piano of their own. He also started a loan program with Chaminade University Performing Arts Department to provide students and teachers with new pianos, as well as raised money to purchase pianos for the college.
“We raised money for the Honolulu Symphony, may they rest in peace, and we also gave a piano to Honolulu Theatre for Youth, HEARTS (Hawaii Education of the Arts) and various schools and churches on Oahu,” he adds.
Tomorrow (March 24) marks the launch of a special sale at the Piano Planet showroom in the Gentry Pacific Design Center (560 N. Nimitz Hwy.). Through April 17, select models of Steinway, Boston and Essex pianos will be available at 2010 prices, with a portion of all proceeds raised during this time-frame to be donated to the Royal Academy of Ballet and HEARTS, which promote a love for and appreciation of the arts in Hawaii’s youths.
“Our society benefits every time a child or adult takes up the piano or any musical instrument,” states Nellas, who plays the piano, trumpet and guitar himself. “Both Dr. Pamela DeBoard of HEARTS and Vivienne Ma of Royal Academy of Ballet are loyal and dedicated to their young artists. They should be commended for their hard work, and we wanted to bring this to light.”
A Hawaii Kai resident whose hobbies include basketball, Nellas also is in the midst of helping the Honolulu Piano Teachers Association plan its annual Scholarship Benefit Concert at UH to raise much-needed funds for music scholarships.
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