The Elkhart Truth Features the Work of Chupp’s Piano Service
NEW PARIS— Tucked away in a corner of Elkhart County, a special brand of vintage music is being made – well, actually remade.
The restoration of famed Steinway & Sons pianos – the most famous name in pianos – has become the specialty of Chupp’s Piano Service, a New Paris business founded in 1975 by Dennis Chupp, a master piano technician.
Chupp, who learned his trade of restoring and prepping Steinways, has sold more than 2,000 models. The business not only restores and repairs, they tune, locate, move and set up pianos.
“A local concert technician, Walter Boshart, helped me through my journey of becoming a piano technician and it took me 10 years to get used to the job,” Dennis Chupp said. “We had arranged training at the Steinway factory and had trained with the head Steinway service rep. (Fred Drasche)”
Deb & Rob On Their New Kawai GX Series Grand Piano
Recently we were happy to provide a Kawai GX-2 Blak Series Grand Piano to Deb and Rob in LaGrange, Indiana. We also installed a new QRS PNOmation3 Player Piano System on the instrument. They were kind enough to send in a testimonial about our service, which we have included below.
“I am so very thankful for Chupp Pianos! When my house burned down, Tim got me a replacement estimate very promptly, so I could send it to the insurance company (at their request).
And even though it was almost two years until I was moving into a new house, they remembered and took very good care of us, meeting us at their showroom twice and giving us a tour of their impressive rebuilding facility in New Paris.
Kevin Vietmeier On His Golden Era Restored Steinway
Recently we were able to fully restore a golden era Steinway & Sons Model M Grand Piano for pianist Kevin Vietmeier. We were all very pleased with the tone and touch of the finished instrument. He was kind enough to leave a five star Google Review for us which we have reprinted below.
“After searching for a grand piano in Pennsylvania and Ohio (including official Steinway stores), I stumbled across Chupp’s and drove out to play a Model M they had on sale. The owner, Dennis, was extremely patient and walked me through his restoration facility explaining the entire process of restoring a vintage Steinway. After playing some of their fully restored pianos, I was greatly impressed and decided to purchase a 1923 Model M and have them do a complete restoration.
Dennis and Tim were both upfront and honest with me throughout the entire process, and in the end I got a beautifully restored Steinway with the gorgeous tone I was expecting and unfortunately not hearing when playing brand new Steinways at other stores. I have had two technicians play the piano, and both were astounded at the excellent workmanship put into this instrument.
Stephen Baker of Bethany Lutheran Church Selects Steinway Concert Grand
Recently Chupp’s Piano Service provided Bethany Lutheran Church of Spencer, Iowa with a pre-owned Steinway Model D 9′ Concert Grand Piano. Music Director Stephen Baker was kind enough to send in the following testimonial.
I searched all over the Midwest looking for a used concert grand for our church, and after playing dozens of pianos in Minneapolis, Iowa, and Michigan, I didn’t find a better piano or a better value than at Chupp’s in Indiana.
When the piano arrived, the word spread throughout town and people were so excited that a couple dozen people showed up just to watch the piano get unloaded and installed in the sanctuary. People who had never seen a 9′ Steinway were actually moved to tears at just the sight of it!
Joyce Brown of Edwardsburg, Michigan sent in this very nice letter to the editor to The Elkhart Truth about the historic Baldwin Model M Grand Piano we rebuilt and presented at the Ruthmere Museum in Elkhart, Indiana. The piano was originally built in 1938 at the Cincinnati Baldwin piano factory and was the personal piano of the Deputy family, the last residents of the Ruthmere Museum. This instrument was donated to be placed in the museum by the Deputy family and was fully rebuilt by the team here at Chupp’s Piano Service.
Hear The Difference | Through the Years with Music Technology
The way we create and listen to music has changed dramatically over the years. Since the 1960s, advancement in music technology has seemed to escalate at an ever quickening pace. In decades past 4-track tape machines were the norm. Today, tablets and computers allow us to create, listen and interact with music in ever changing ways. Take a look at the handy info-graphic below for more about the fascinating evolution of music technology.
Chupp’s Piano Service Restores Historic Baldwin Grand Piano
ELKHART – “A community is the sum of its shared history, so in an age when information is created, shared, has trended and is forgotten in a matter of minutes, museums represent something different.
“What makes local history important is that people who are living in the community today — that they understand what the roots of their community are all about, and it’s very distinct from one community to the next,” Bill Firstenberger, executive director of Ruthmere Museums Campus, said in an interview. “We’re a place that reminds the residents and visitors to our community what we’re all about: both good and bad, but hopefully mostly good.”
UPDATE: Several of these grand pianos have now been sold. #275187 and #233201 are still available.
The Steinway & Sons Model D is perhaps the most iconic concert instrument in world history. These 9’ grand pianos truly are the apex of Steinway engineering and craftsmanship. The Model D offers artists a level of expression unlike any other and has come to set the standard by which other concert pianos are judged. It is very rare to find one, let alone several fully rebuilt Model Ds available to compare in any location. Here at Chupp’s Piano Service we are proud to have four fully rebuilt Steinway & Sons Model D Concert Grand Pianos in performance ready status in our facility, with more in the process of being rebuilt. Each of these wonderful instruments feature their own distinct musical quality.
Concert Pianist and Professor on her Rebuilt Steinway & Sons Model B
Chupp’s Piano Service is proud to provide many professional pianists with premium restored Steinway & Sons pianos. Accomplished Concert Pianist and Professor Solungga Liu purchased a rebuilt Steinway & Sons Model B Grand Piano from us. She was kind enough to give us the following testimonial.
Letter of Recommendation | Restored Steinway Model C
Chupp’s Piano Service recently fully restored a vintage Steinway & Sons Model C Semi-Concert Grand Piano for neurosurgeon Dr. Howard Lantner. He was kind enough to send in the following letter of recommendation about his experience purchasing from Chupp’s Pianos.
“I had taken piano lessons as a child for few a years. While I enjoyed it, it was a chore to practice, so quit after elementary school. I had hoped to resume it down the road. 24 years later, I finished school and training and settled in Connecticut. My parents still had the old upright piano in their home and let me take it to my home. I started taking piano lessons on it and hoped that one day I would progress enough to be worthy of a vintage Steinway Grand. That was 23 years ago.
January PTG meeting held at Chupp’s Facility
We regularly host Piano Technicians Guild meetings in our rebuilding facility here in New Paris, IN. The local PTG held their January meeting here at our shop and I hosted the lessons and discussions. We went over some Tips, Tricks and Techniques for minor piano repairs. Also discussed was how to deal with difficult and distasteful situations when going into customer’s homes to work on their pianos. (Mainly disruptive or aggressive animals, ect.) The highlight of the meeting was a comparison of five sample hammers on one of our rebuilt Steinway Model A-II Grand Pianos from five different manufacturers. Blind tests were conducted among the technicians to determine which hammers produced the best tone. We also played and assessed the power and tone of Steinway Model D #269017. This fully rebuilt and restored concert grand piano features a custom action and a unique and powerful Western Red Cedar soundboard.
We have a lot going on (as usual) here at Chupp’s Pianos. As chilly winter weather continues to push fall into the rear view mirror, progress and new things continue to happen here at our facility. New Steinway & Sons rebuilding projects have recently begun. This includes a rare, 1885 Steinway & Sons Model D Concert Grand. According to records, this piano was the 58th out of around 300 produced in its style. It was the first concert grand in the Steinway line to feature the Henry Z Steinway semi modern scale design! We are excited to begin work on this piano quite soon.
Also of note, is a Steinway & Sons Model B Grand Piano. This particular Model B grand is in a gorgeous Circassian Walnut veneer. The grain detail is quite distinctive and will be absolutely beautiful once we begin the refinishing process. Click here to view more photos of it ‘as is.’
GOSHEN – “Goshen College students walking by the Administration building are in for a pleasant musical surprise.
Located in this nondescript corner of campus lies a new painted piano. If one decides to approach and further inspect the piano, they will be greeted by the evoking artistic stylings of Maddie Gerig, a third-year student at Goshen College. Riddled with chipped keys and left without a bench, the piano is painted with a color scheme of varying shades of blue and white accompanied by powerful accents of yellow and red.
This piano came as a result of the efforts of Student Senate to “spontaneously interject” some of Goshen’s abundant musical talent into our campus, said Ben Shelly, president of Student Senate.
When asked about how this project came to fruition, David Zehr, who used to serve on Student Senate, said, “Two years ago, Maddie Gerig and Elizabeth Derstine (who were both at-large representatives on Senate that year) had some suggestions related to doing artistic things around campus.”
Zehr went on to explain that this project was inspired by the Keys for the City program from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a program which placed various painted pianos across the city.
With a little advice from the Keys for the City program, Beverly Lapp, professor of music, and Dennis Chupp of Chupp’s Piano Service, GC received its own piano.
Through Chupp’s business, a couple friends of GC “decided to donate their piano,” said Zehr.”