Our church has a Baldwin SD-10 concert grand.
We bought it only a few years ago and are very happy with it. (I used this forum a great deal while we shopped for the piano and the advice I received was invaluable.) I encourage any large church with the financial ability to take the plunge and buy a good concert grand. You will not regret it. Our sanctuary is fairly large (720 seats) and acoustically bright with a hardwood stage, solid wood pews and bare concrete floors. Under these conditions we find that we do not need to mic the piano to get sufficient volume in the space. (We do mic the piano for purposes of recording – not sound augmentation.)
However, our worship style is to use worship teams and several team members find it difficult to stand in front of the piano when the lid is raised. The sound is simply overwhelming. If the lid is lowered, the piano cannot carry the space without amplification and that seems to distort the piano’s natural sound. We have tried various positions, including having the piano turned 180 degrees and “bouncing” the sound off the back wall. So far the best technique is to have the piano well forward of the vocalists, but this gets it pretty close to the center of the stage. That position is occupied by the pulpit and since we are a Christian Reformed congregation, preaching of the word is central. The piano cannot take center stage.
So, after that long introduction; here is my question. Can we remove the lid of the piano and let the bulk of the sound travel upwards? Our ceiling is acoustically reflective drywall panels and the ones above the stage are angled to reflect sound out to the congregation.
I have looked at the piano and the lid appears to be very easy to remove. It seems if we remove three hinge pins it will come loose. However, this is not something we want to do every Sunday. If we remove the lid, does anyone think there is a problem with the piano sitting during the week with its factory supplied cloth cover in place? Will this damage the piano in any way over time (dust etc.)?
Are there any other things we should be aware of? For example, I have seen people place a full coffee cup on the piano when the lid is down and the cover on. This kind of thing will obviously need to stop. (It should anyway.)
Any observations or comments will be appreciated.