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Piano technician honored by national organization

July 21, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University piano technician Dr. Yat-Lam Hong is the most recent inductee into the Piano Technicians Guild Hall of Fame, an honor recognizing his achievements and contributions to the world of music.

The accomplishments for which he was honored are not confined to the realm of piano technology--tuning, voicing, repairing and rebuilding--but included his great knowledge of classical music, performance and intuitive understanding of music, according to the award citation. He received the award June 25 during the PTG Convention and Technical Institute in Las Vegas.

Born in Shanghai, Hong and his parents fled the Communist takeover and relocated to Hong Kong when he was about 12 years old. He left for the United States to attend college at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, Md., and later at Indiana University. While completing his master's degree in piano performance at IU, he studied piano structure and technology and became a part-time technician at the IU School of Music. After teaching at Piedmont College for two years, he moved to Cincinnati to begin work on his doctorate in piano performance. In 1970, he interrupted his studies to return to IU as the assistant piano technician. He joined the WMU staff in 1973 as a piano technician. He received his doctorate in piano performance from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory in 1991.

During his time in the Piano Technicians Guild, Hong has managed a private piano service business and also working as a WMU technician. In addition, he has taught classes at the chapter, regional and national levels, served as a chapter officer and newsletter editor, as technical editor of the organization's journal, and as an interpreter and active committee member of IAPBT and the International Relations Committee.

For more information, contact Yat-lam Hong at yat-lam.hong@wmich.edu or (269) 387-4722.

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Media contact: Deanne Puca, (269) 387-8400, deanne.puca@wmich.edu

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