‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ piano finds harmony at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild | TribLIVE.com
Allegheny

‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ piano finds harmony at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
1509834_web1_PTR-ROGERSPIANO-2
Murphy Moschetta/Courtesy MCG Jazz
Fred Rogers Productions and WQED partnered to donate the piano played by renowned local jazz musician Johnny Costa on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” to the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild (MCG) on the North Side of Pittsburgh. Bill Cantos played the piano for the first time at MCG on Tuesday in a show featuring Herb Alpert.
1509834_web1_PTR-ROGERSPIANO-1
Murphy Moschetta/Courtesy MCG Jazz
Fred Rogers Productions and WQED partnered to donate the piano played by renowned local jazz musician Johnny Costa on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” to the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild (MCG) on the North Side of Pittsburgh.
1509834_web1_PTR-ROGERSPIANO
Murphy Moschetta/Courtesy MCG Jazz
Fred Rogers Productions and WQED partnered to donate the piano played by renowned local jazz musician Johnny Costa on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” to the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild (MCG) on the North Side of Pittsburgh.

Many tunes were played on the special piano, and many more will be played in its future home.

The 1987 Steinway B piano was the instrument of choice for renowned jazz musician Johnny Costa on the set of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” inside WQED Multimedia studios in Oakland.

Unveiled Tuesday, it now sits on a new stage at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild on Pittsburgh’s North Side.

Thanks to the donation from WQED and nonprofit Fred Rogers Productions, the piano made its debut during a concert at the Guild, also known as MCG Jazz, from legendary trumpeter Herb Alpert and his band.

Paul Siefken, president and CEO of Fred Rogers Productions, said they were looking for a proper home for the piano.

Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild was fitting because Rogers and Costa were committed to the arts and education and “what better place to learn the piano than at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild?” he said.

“It will be played by jazz musicians today and in the future,” Siefken said. “It’s not a museum piece. It needs to be played.”

“It made perfect sense to be here,” said Marty Ashby, vice president and executive producer of MCG Jazz, with a mission to preserve, present and promote jazz. “Johnny had played for us. He and Fred would want it to be played. And there is such history in this piano. It fits MCG like a perfect suit.”

Singer and pianist Bill Cantos played the piano Tuesday along with Alpert and Alpert’s wife, Grammy award-winning vocalist Lani Hall. There is a second show Wednesday.

Darlene Blodgett of Gibsonia was one of the 350 guests at Tuesday’s sold-out show.

“Fred Rogers was a wonderful man,” she said. “And this is a wonderful gift.”

Costa played the piano from 1987 through 2000 in the WQED studio, where every episode of the beloved children’s television series was filmed.

The piano will be a vital part of the Guild’s jazz educational program in the future, officials said.

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.