A POPULAR York school has just taken delivery of its very own baby grand piano thanks to the family of a woman who loved music.

All Saints RC School in the South Bank area of the city said music pupils were delighted to receive the stunning Chappell baby grand , which was donated by the family of Ann Atkinson.

Ann, née Margaret Ann Smith, was never happier than when she was at the piano. As a young girl, all she ever wanted was to learn to play, and her father Jack saved up from his modest railway guard’s income to buy her an upright and to pay for her to take lessons.

The donated baby grand was a wedding anniversary gift from Ann‘s late husband Allan and stood in the Atkinson family home in Acomb until Ann’s death earlier this year.

The school say Ann practised on it nearly every day in order to prepare for her work as accompanist for the Jean Bilton and Andrea Ferebee ballet schools and as Musical Director of the Oakline Players.

Later in life, Ann became a regular member of the congregation at St Stephen’s and St Aidan’s churches in Acomb.

She was also an enthusiastic and much-loved member of Vocal Flourish, the York choir made up of singers living with dementia, and she would often treat her fellow churchgoers and choristers to impromptu recitals.

She continued to share her talent and love of entertaining during the final year of her life, which she spent at Minster Grange care home.

The piano was presented to music teachers Richard Mann, Jess Kettlewell and Craig Brown along with head teacher Sharon Keelan-Beardsley by Ann's daughter Sally and lifelong piano duet partner, Ann.

Mr Mann said: "We are so grateful for this generous gift, and the legacy of such a beautiful instrument will continue for many more years to come.

"The music department at All Saints has recently been recognised by Music Mark for its vibrant and inclusive extra curricular and this instrument will provide such a fantastic resource for students across GCSE and A-level music."

As The Press reported last month, All Saints is York’s oldest state secondary school, and they are hoping to benefit from the Government's School Rebuilding Programme (SRP) so they can build a new school.

The school has applied for the SRP and has a new site in mind where it currently has games pitches in Sim Balk Lane next to York College.

With about 1,418 on roll All Saints is currently on a split site with Years 7, 8 and 9 taught in buildings behind the Bar Convent in Nunnery Lane and Years 10 to 13 at Mill Mount.