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125-year-old piano company to debut music school in KoP

January 20, 2017

Source: Philadelphia Business Journal, Kenneth Hilario

What do the owners of one of the oldest piano companies in the world do when they have more than enough space at a new King of Prussia location? They turn to the second generation to launch a new business venture under the company name.

The 125-year-old Cunningham Piano last year opened a second, new location in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, while consolidating its operations in the Germantown section of Philadelphia.

The 5,500-square-foot facility and showroom at 198 Allendale Road, right across from the King of Prussia Mall, opened late last fall, and — after setting up the showroom space, there was just enough space for a new venture.

Elisabeth Galassini, daughter of co-owner Rich Galassini, will debut this winter the Cunningham Piano Music School. It will service all ages and offer classes like piano, voice, music history, music theory and so-called “mommy and me” music classes.

The idea came to Elisabeth recently.

Elisabeth, like Rich and co-owner Tim Oliver, has a music background and a degree from Temple University. Elisabeth studied music history at what is now known as the Boyer College of Music and Dance.

Creating a music school was pitch perfect for the company.

“Cunningham Piano has been providing and rebuilding the finest pianos for decades,” Elisabeth said. “Having a music school seemed the natural progression of the company. All musicians, no matter what instrument they play, need to know how to play the piano.”

There is no limit on the number of students at Cunningham Piano Music School as the school will operate the classes throughout the day, evening and weekends, according to a spokeswoman.

There are only a handful of music education-related facilities in the King of Prussia area, including the Meridee Winters School of Music and Leading Tone Lessons.

The goal is to expand programming at Cunningham Piano Music School to include off-site music therapy, Elisabeth said.

Although the company closed its 9,000-square-foot showroom in Germantown, it still has a presence in the area. The company just consolidated and relocated its operations to the third floor of its piano factory, located at 26 E. Coutler Ave., around the corner from its original showroom.

The company, at this facility, will continue to restore and sell pianos. Tours are also available for the public.

The move to King of Prussia was ideal for business since it’s a more accessible area compared to the Germantown neighborhood, said Rich, who has owned the company with Oliver since 2008.

Cunningham Piano was founded in 1891 by Patrick J. Cunningham.

“This is an exciting time for Cunningham Piano filled with growth and expansion while holding on to the history of the company,” Rich said. “We still have a presence in Germantown, and our new King of Prussia location expands our accessibility to the region.”