Friday, January 16, 2009

PIANO HOSPITAL CELEBRATES 60th ANNIVERSARY! Join Us on Founder’s Day – February 11, 2009

VANCOUVER, Wash. –Jan. 16, 2009 – Emil Fries Piano Hospital and Training Center, now known as The School of Piano Technology for the Blind, celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2009. Founded by Emil B. Fries in 1949 to help blind and visually impaired people live independent productive lives, the school remains the only one of its kind in the world. During the past 60 years, more than 300 students from 36 states and 14 countries have traveled to Vancouver to learn the unique piano tuning and repair techniques developed by Mr. Fries.

Since 1949, the Piano Hospital and Training Center has tuned more than 56,000 pianos in Clark and Multnomah counties in support of its mission to train blind and visually impaired people for careers as piano technicians. Pianos typically have 225 strings. Each string requires about 100 lbs of force per string to get in tune. During the past 60 years, Piano Hospital technicians have exerted several million pounds of force to tune the pianos of Clark and Multnomah Counties. NASA reports it took 1.5 million pounds of force to launch an Apollo spaceship. We may have generated enough force to launch an Apollo spaceship!

Kim J. Capeloto, president and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce and president of the piano school’s board states, “The Board of Trustees takes pride in the fact that the school has served as an incubator for over 200 small businesses. The unemployment rate among blind adults is more than 60 percent, but our graduates are able to earn a good living utilizing the entrepreneurial skills learned at the school.”

The school, a private, accredited vocational school, became a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) corporation in 1965 to insure its mission would continue forever.

Founder’s Day Open House

Join us as we celebrate our 60th anniversary on Founders Day on Feb. 11, 2009. Emil Fries was born on February 11 so we will celebrate the day with an open house at the school at 2510 East Evergreen Blvd, Vancouver, WA 98661. Len Leger, executive director, says, “Everyone is invited to visit the school to see our mission in action.” Tours will be run hourly starting at 10 a.m. There will be entertainment and refreshments from 4 – 7 p.m.

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