A Gift of Music from The Guglers

The Guglers pictured with their baby grand piano, Artistic Director Devon Carney, Music Director Ramona Pansegrau, Ballet Master Parrish Maynard and members of Kansas City Ballet. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling.
The Guglers pictured with their baby grand piano, Artistic Director Devon Carney, Music Director Ramona Pansegrau, Ballet Master Parrish Maynard and members of Kansas City Ballet. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling.

Steve and Sheila Gugler raised their family in Kansas City, but now retired, they were ready for their next big adventure: moving to San Diego. Such a move meant paring down on physical items they’ve owned for years, even beloved ones like Sheila’s Kawai baby grand piano.

As the move to San Diego drew near, the couple began the arduous process of clearing out their large Kansas City home. When it came to Sheila’s baby, the piano, she knew it had to go but to whom?

“We were moving to a much smaller space in San Diego and there simply wasn’t room for it. I think that was the hardest thing about our move. I loved that piano,” said Sheila.

She knew that she wanted the recipient to appreciate it and really play it a lot.

Her Eureka Moment

“One night it came to me at 2:30 a.m. like a light bulb,” Sheila said. She remembered her daughter had taken lessons at Kansas City Ballet School during the Todd Bolender years at the Westport Allen Studios. Ballet classes were not just a way to learn to dance but also a vehicle for learning music appreciation, and at Kansas City Ballet School the classes are taught with live pianists playing the accompaniment.

“I knew this would be a great way to really expand the enjoyment of the piano by not only the many, many students, but the talented accompanists that KCB employs as well.”

When Sheila told her daughter her plan she replied, “Oh, Mom! What a great idea.”

Making it Happen

All that was left to do was reach out to Kansas City Ballet Music Director Ramona Pansegrau about the idea. Ramona came out and “kicked the tires” to be sure the piano was up to the challenge.

It was.

Once the piano arrived in the studio, its new home, the Guglers were invited to attend a ballet class with members of the company. The experience touched Sheila and Steve deeply. “We got to see our gift in use,” Sheila said, “We couldn’t be happier about our decision.”

And KCB couldn’t be happier to be the proud new owners.

Honoring the gift

“We are thrilled to have the Guglers’ beautiful piano in our Studio 2,” said Ramona. “As our pianist pool has grown in both size and expertise, the need for fine instruments has increased. In Studio 2, a studio used for company rehearsals as well as school classes, it is essential to be able to see ‘feet touch the floor’ to establish correct tempos for our professional dancers. The gift of a grand piano enables that to happen—and therefore it makes the process of studio to stage much easier. I am so grateful to the Guglers. We will treasure their lovely instrument for years to come.”

 


Kansas City Ballet is a 501(c)(3) organization. The majority of our operating budget each year is made up of grants and donations. If you are interested in making a gift to Kansas City Ballet, please contact Director of Individual Giving Debra Goldstein at 816.216.5597 or visit our website.

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