Riverton Piano Company Celebrates Spooky Season Amidst COVID-19
On October 29, NAMM Member Riverton Piano aired their second annual Masquerade event, which celebrated their students' tireless efforts in a “spooky, but not scary” Halloween concert. The “not so live” event debuted on Riverton’s YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/RivertonPianoCompany) and featured an interactive watch party complete with real-time chats between students and teachers.
The Arizona NAMM Member had an unusual start in 1968 when Hal Rindlisbacher found that many of the instruments of his high school band students were in various states of disrepair. To help not only his students but his friends continue to enjoy the benefits of music, Rindlisbacher cleared out an old chicken coop to have space to complete repairs on the forlorn instruments. By 1978, the demand for Rindlisbacher’s skills was at an all-time high, so he purchased a music store in the small township of Riverton, Utah. Rindlisbacher welcomed his oldest son, Kevin, into the business in 1983. Shortly thereafter, the store opened a second, third, and fourth location throughout Utah. While successfully running the locations in Utah, the family acquired the Piano Showroom of Arizona in Scottsdale and decided to rename the piano-only location the Riverton Piano Company. By 2019, the second location in Peoria, Arizona was opened, becoming the Valley’s newest piano store while the Scottsdale location remained the oldest piano retailer in the Phoenix-metro area.
The family-owned company made the difficult decision to retool their in-person recital this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. James Harding, the director of sales and marketing, stated, “Masquerade offers our students and their families a fun and safe way to celebrate Halloween. With all the disruption COVID-19 has caused for our kids this year, we felt it was more important than ever to find a safe way to celebrate.” The socially-distanced recital prioritized safety precautions for all participants but the spirit of the event was not lost, as Masquerade featured a fully decorated and professionally lit stage that acted as the ideal backdrop for the costumed performers.
This year's Masquerade event included performances from three teachers and 33 students. Harding commented on the importance of recitals like these during the time of COVID-19, stating, “Many of the parents we spoke with during the recording phase told us that their families were going stir crazy at home and this event gave them a much-needed outlet. Masquerade gave our students a chance to celebrate their hard work, and it provided something fun and unique to share with their friends. This is, at its essence, what music always does. It gives us something special to hold on to during even the most uncertain times. It helps us relax and enjoy the moments, even if those moments are uncomfortable, reminding us that even in our darkest hours, joy is possible. I am thrilled that we could help these families safely celebrate Halloween and all the hard work they have put into learning an instrument during such a difficult time. I hope this lesson that even when the world seems to be coming apart, you can find peace, and even joy, in music, stays with them through life.”