Music department piano, instruments sale will be grand

Hundreds of slightly-used, top-notch pianos, guitars, violins and other musical instruments will be for sale to the public later this month at the UC Berkeley’s Music Department, complete with factory warranties, tune-ups and interest-free financing, if needed.

The sale is part of a creative arrangement between Berkeley’s music department, one of the top ranked in the country for decades, and the Rockley Family Foundation, a nonprofit foundation established to promote music education. This fall for the first time, the foundation will begin loaning UC Berkeley music students new instruments on an annual basis, then sell to the public the year-old instruments it has loaned to dozens of institutions of higher education across the country. This enables the foundation to raise enough money to loan a new set of instruments each year.

The scene from a previous Rockley sale gives an idea of what the UC Berkeley Music Department event might look like.

Musical instruments will be on sale to the public Aug. 22-24, in a collaboration between UC Berkeley’s music department and the Rockley Family Foundation. An earlier piano sale organized by the nonprofit is pictured here. (Photo courtesy of the Rockley Foundation.)

The selection will include grand pianos, baby grands, digital player grands, upright pianos, digital pianos, orchestral strings, and acoustic and electric guitars. Among the makers are Steinway & Sons, Baldwin Piano Co., Seiler, Pramberger Piano Co., Roland Corp., Kurzweil Music Systems and the Gretsch Co. Most of the instruments to be sold are less than a year old.

The kickoff event for UC Berkeley’s partnership with the Rockley Family Foundation will begin with a pre-sale on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 22-23, at Hertz Hall Auditorium on campus. To secure an appointment time, call (510) 642-0099. The final sale day will be Sunday, Aug. 24, from noon to 5 p.m.  In most cases, a large portion of an instrument’s purchase price may be tax-deductible.

A campus map is online. Click here for parking information.

“The music department at Berkeley is delighted to partner with the Rockley Family Foundation, which is generously providing new, first-class pianos and digital instruments for our students,” said Cindy Cox, chair of the department. “Hundreds of music students every year will benefit tremendously from having these instruments to practice on.”

Cox said that, at a time when creative solutions are essential to maintaining a properly equipped music program — for which repair and upkeep of old instruments is a significant expense — the new loan program is an important way to further arts education.

UC Berkeley is the first UC campus to collaborate with the Rockley Family Foundation.