Oakland University comes alive with the sound of music


By Andrew Wernette

Stray music filled the air as Oakland University held its annual piano sale Friday, March 21 through Sunday, March 23, in the Shotwell-Gustafon Pavilion on campus.

Friday and Saturday were reserved for private appointments, while Sunday was open to the public.

Pianos of all shapes and sizes were displayed throughout the space.

Local music company Evola Music ran the event, complete with sales associates who demonstrated the different features of each piano to prospective buyers. The merchandise ranged from electronic to upright and grand pianos. Brands such as Yamaha, Kawai and Baldwin were represented.

Whole families came out on Sunday to examine the instruments.

“It’s a pretty significant event,” Dave Best, an Evola employee in charge of overseeing the used pianos, said.

He said that this is actually part of an ongoing deal between OU and two of the brands being shown: Kawai and Yamaha. Each year the companies loan their pianos to OU’s Department of Music, Theater and Dance, and after a year’s use, the pianos are sold at a discounted price to the public.

“At the end of the year, [OU] get[s] another load of pianos,” Best said.

In the end, it is a win-win for everyone. OU constantly has high-quality pianos for its music students, the companies eventually sell their pianos, and customers receive a fair price for an almost-new instrument.

Best said that business was looking good this year, adding that a large number of people showed up on Saturday. He commended everyone in his team for working hard.

“[The] salespeople involved put in a hard week,” he said.

One of those sales associates was Bob Lelli, who described his enthusiasm for selling these pianos to ordinary families.

“I think it’s been a success,” Lelli said of the sale.

“What I like to tell the people is that this is a legitimate sale with a beginning and an end,” Lelli said.

He mentioned that most of the people who come to the event have already been shopping around for a piano, and that this offered something unique: very good pianos at lower prices.