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Richard Grill received a Bachelor of Music degree in 1965, majoring in organ performance, from DePaul University in Chicago where Herman Pedtke was his teacher. After graduation he moved to Cleveland, Ohio and studied with Henry Fusner at the Cleveland Institute of Music where he attained his Master of Music degree in 1970. Since 1971 he has been Director of Music at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Muncie, Indiana where his duties include playing for all church services and teaching music in the parish school.
After a trip to Germany in 2000 for the 250th anniversary of the death of Johann Sebastian Bach, he decided to take harpsichord lessons at Ball State University. As a result of those lessons with Kirby Koriath, his interest in the harpsichord greatly increased.
Wanting one of his own, he explored various possibilities of ownership. Buying a used instrument just did not seem to be the right way to go. Zuckermann allowed him to get the kind of harpsichord he wanted for a reasonable price.
The instrument arrived in July 2002 and had many pieces in the box. Fortunately, the instruction manual and mylar drawing were a great help. Previous attempts at woodworking projects prompted his doctor to discourage him from any other attempts at building objects with his hands. (He had put a chisel through his palm while making a desk for his wife.) His woodworking skills were slim to none. Numerous telephone calls were made over the next two years to talk with Steve or Richard. With their patience and support, plus the encouragement of his wife, he was able to complete the case painting and stringing during the summer of 2003. Voicing has been going on since then whenever he has some spare time.
Building his own instrument has helped him to experience a great sense of accomplishment. It is very rewarding to sit down and play. Both he and his wife love the sound of this harpsichord. The neighbors in their condo complex like when the windows are open so they can hear what they all watched being built. Everyone was interested in his project. He has been given the nickname "Johann Sebastian Grill."