The End of an Era
Saskatoon Yamaha Piano Center was a prominent resident of the Broadway Avenue business district for close to four decades. Here, owners Roger and Marie Jolly created a gathering place for pianists from across Saskatchewan. When you walked in the door, you were greeted by a warm smile and pampered with amazing customer service.
Roger and Marie also vigorously supported Saskatoon’s musical community, including me. Each June, they graciously opened their doors to my students for our year-end recitals. We started out using one piano in the store’s basement, but soon graduated to the main level, having access to some of the finest instruments Saskatoon has ever seen. The duo’s generosity afforded me the opportunity to expand the musical horizons of my students through ensemble work – (Two Pianos Four Hands and Two Pianos Eight Hands). Something that is usually a logistical nightmare for most teachers, (finding a venue with two well-maintained pianos for ensemble work), became a tradition in my studio.
Roger Jolly brought over 40 years of knowledge to his craft. In his time in the industry he was involved in most areas of the piano business including salesman, piano technician, rebuilder, and designer. Mr. Jolly was retained as a technical design consultant for the Samick Music Corporation, the world's largest piano manufacturer. He upgraded the Design and Manufacturing process of the Knabe Grand pianos. He was also the contract rebuilder/technician for the Music Department of the University of Saskatchewan.
As an international clinician, he was the keynote speaker at major conventions in Canada, the United States, New Zealand, Norway, Australia, Czech Republic, Korea, and Italy.
He was the recipient of the prestigious Jack Greenfield Award for Research and Writing. (Piano Technicians Guild 2001) and the Outstanding Achievement Award (Canadian Association of Piano Technicians 2000).
Marie Jolly owned the Yamaha Piano Centre with her husband Roger and provided Saskatchewan with knowledge and expertise since May 1980. Marie has an extensive musical background with her Associate in Piano and Voice.
Over the years Marie had been very involved in the music community. Everything from being a musical director to being involved with the Saskatoon Opera Association. Marie also oversaw and taught Yamaha Play for Fun Adult & Senior Lessons.
My deepest thanks to Roger and Marie for everything they did for me over the years. I wish them all the best in their retirement. They definitely did spoil me, and I am going to miss them!