Giving Back

Sparta Education Foundation and Sparta Music Boosters Donate Two Grand Pianos to School District

Members of the Sparta Music Boosters, Sparta Education Foundation and Sparta High School teaching staff came together to preview two new grand pianos at Sparta High School.  The Hailun grand pianos were recently obtained through funds provided by the Sparta Music Boosters and Sparta Education Foundation. Left to right: Dorothy LaBeau and Don Cutshall, Sparta Education Foundation; Sue Skalla and Rashmi Drummond, Sparta Music Boosters; Deborah Gianuzzi, Laura Lopez, Denis Sheeran, Andrew Lopez and Loni Bach, Sparta High School teachers.


SPARTA, NJ-The Sparta Education Foundation and the Sparta Music Boosters jointly funded the purchase of two grand pianos which were delivered to Sparta High School in March.  While the pianos will be housed at Sparta High School, the entire district and community will benefit from these new instruments since they will be used at concerts and musical productions in the high school’s state-of-the-art auditorium.


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Sparta Music Boosters, Inc. contributed $10,000 toward the cost of the new pianos, and the Sparta  Education Foundation grant funded the remaining $28,000.  Denis Sheeran, Supervisor of Mathematics and Music at Sparta High School, said the pianos will be used by all music classes in performance and practice, and their arrival has been long anticipated.


“Grand pianos used in a manner consistent with the instructional methods aligned by our high school music curriculum reach a point where end of life replacement is more cost effective than continued refurbishing and repair,” Sheeran noted.  Additionally,  the piano in the auditorium and the choir room piano had both reached that point in 2011, according to professional review.


Sparta Music Boosters were happy to step in and help fund the purchase of these pianos.

Rashmi Drummond, the organization’s President and Trustee said, “The Sparta Music Boosters have a long history of supporting music in our schools thanks to the generous support of parents. We are thrilled to be able to provide such a significant donation to a purchase that will benefit all music students in Sparta, as well as area musical groups that perform at Sparta High School.”


Dr. Deborah P. Gianuzzi, Music Teacher and Band Director at Sparta High School, also expressed her gratitudefor the pianos. “Thanks to the generous grant from the SEF and fundraised monies from the Sparta Music Boosters, we were able to purchase two new Hailun grand pianos for the high school. We are so excited to have these new instruments and they will be utilized at many school and community performances. We also look forward to being able to offer guest pianists an opportunity to play on a beautiful instrument.” A similar outlook was summarized by Don Cutshall, President of the SEF. “It is so gratifying to be able to uphold our mission of enriching the educational experience of students in the school district. Money from our fundraisers like the Turkey Trot goes right back to the schools in the form of grant money for exciting resources like these two grand pianos. We are proud to collaborate with Sparta Music Boosters and our teachers while inspiring our students.”

Both grand pianos are from Hailun Piano, recipient of the Acoustic Piano of the Year Award in 2012.

  • The Auditorium will welcome a Hailun HG 198 grand piano created by well-known American piano designer and engineer Frank Emerson, who has over 20 years of experience in research and design for the Baldwin Piano and Organ Company and Mason and Hamlin Piano Company.  Measuring 6 feet, 5 inches, it is expertly designed for artistic expression. 
  • The Choir Room will receive a Hailun HG 178 grand piano.  Known for its rich musical tone, this model is a favorite among students, teachers and performers; it measures 5 feet, 10 inches. 

In addition to benefiting all the Sparta public schools that hold their annual instrumental and choir concerts in the high school auditorium, a large percentage of the high school population will also benefit from the pianos. During the course of four years, over half the student population enrolls in music courses, performs in dramatic and musical productions or takes private lessons on voice and instruments requiring piano accompaniment. 

In the grant application, Denis Sheeran emphasized the importance of acquiring these two grand pianos by stating, “Performances will take on a new quality, and the evidence of the effectiveness of this project will be clear just by the use of the pianos becoming part of the daily routine of the teachers and students.” 

Sheeran added that the underwritten grants contribute to the school district’s overall mission by preparing students for 21st century careers and futures, as well as enabling them to contribute to an ever-changing society of professionals.

Sparta Education Foundation has awarded more than $450,000 in grants to all five of Sparta’s public schools since 2007.  The Foundation is an independent non-profit organization whose mission is to engage the entire community in philanthropic giving that strengthens the public schools, supports teachers, and inspires students.  For more information visit

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