Piano featured in 'Mr. Holland's Opus' donated to Portland high school

Piano featured in 'Mr. Holland's Opus' donated to Portland high school

PORTLAND, Ore. - A piece of Hollywood history now calls a Portland high school its permanent home. 

An anonymous donor has gifted the piano featured in the Oscar-nominated movie, "Mr. Holland’s Opus," to Grant High School. 

Only a select few know where the piano has been in the nearly 20 years since the movie was filmed. The anonymous donation is significant because the movie was primarily filmed at Grant High School; it was transformed into the fictional John F. Kennedy School. No doubt, it’s about to get some good use.

"I think everyone is a little bit excited for it to be here for various reasons," said Kenny Regan, a senior at Grant. "Some people are just glad that we have a new piano to play on. Other people have that excitement that this is a piano from Mr. Holland's Opus."

Regan learned how to play piano at age five. He comes from a family of musicians, and plans on going to college to become a composer.

"I really think I became a musician when I was eight because that's when I started composing and improvising," Regan said.

He's made most of his music as a teenager at Grant High School.

"What I think is unique about this particular instance is the filming of that movie is the importance of music departments, the importance of music education in public high school. I think having that here in this building is a testament to what the music department is doing," said Regan.
 
Now, Regan, and other music students, will get to do the same thing, at the same piano, thanks to that anonymous donor.

Music teacher Nick Budge said he hopes the piano inspires more students, and inspires Portland Public Schools to continue to support music education.
 
"Seeing that movie while I was in high school, it was a big deal. So the piano arriving back here is kind of almost full circle," said Budge.
 
Regan was the first student to play it after it was delivered. He said it needs to be tuned and needs some TLC. Budge said the school hopes to restore it soon.
 
"I'm really grateful to the family who donated it to us, and it needs some work so that we can make it a really beautiful instrument again," Budge said.
 
"Thank you so much for giving us this piano. It's going to be a great opportunity," said Regan.