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Piano Played by Billy Joel at SUNY Cortland Dedicated to Him


A piano at SUNY Cortland that was once played by Billy Joel when he performed at the school 50 years ago has been dedicated to the famous singer.

SUNY Cortland alumni, donors and staff celebrate the restoration of a Steinway grand piano played by musician Billy Joel during the 1970s during an appreciation event in Corey Union on Sept. 29, 2022. Photo by: Michael Forster Rothbart

Joel made two campus concerts, which made a lasting impression on the students that were in attendance. Some of those students returned to the school during the dedication ceremony last month. The event featured a current student playing his famous music.

“I’m grateful that SUNY Cortland students are still able to play the same piano that I performed on back in ’72 and ’74. Thank you to SUNY Cortland for your dedication to music education and enriching the lives of today’s young people through music.” Said Peter Perkins, VP for institutional advancement.

The dedication took place on September 29th in the Corey Union Function Room with Brandon Upton, a musical theater major, performing Billy Joel’s “Vienna” on the very piano Joel played on.

Committee members present at the dedication of the Billy Joel piano were Sonia Sochia, Kevin Pristash ’85, M ’91; Jack Samuels ’73; Rocco Scaptura ’68; Ralph Shortell ’66 and Gordon Valentine ’68, M ’70.

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