“Dad grew up on a farm,” Steve Evans recalled. “His dad was a country fiddler and he wanted Dad to be a violinist, so he had my dad taking violin lessons. But his mom wanted him to learn to play the piano. His dad bought him an old piano that wouldn't stay in tune, just so he wouldn't play the piano and he would play the violin.
“But Dad learned how to tune up the old piano by watching the old tuner who would come and tune the piano, and he got ahold of some tools from his uncle. He would tune the piano up as good as he could and practice every day.”
Albert Evans Jr.'s legacy will outlast his store. Both Steve and Phillip continue as piano technicians — proud that their father was a founding member of the National Piano Technicians Guild and that he was renowned for his skill and artistry. Elaine Evans Walters is a concert pianist and holder of a doctorate in musical arts from Rice University.
Phillip walked up to a restored 1911 black Baldwin grand piano, one of numerous beautiful instruments to be auctioned Saturday, and talked about his father.
“This is what our father did, his love, his passion. He would take a piano like this, made in 1911 and gotten totally dilapidated, and he took that instrument and turned it into something that you would think is new, and plays as well as new and sounds as good as new,” he said. “He was one of the finest technicians in the country.
“That's what Dad did. And he did it well. And we think he did it better than just about anybody you can imagine. He absolutely loved pianos. He loved what they did for people. He loved how they helped them express themselves, how it helped them grow, helped them enjoy their life.”