A Clinton County piano tuner is home after spending ten days teaching hisrare trade in Cuba. John DeHaan is what’s known as a “master tuner” and saysmost of his students already knew some of the basics. Besides the languagebarrier, DeHaan says many of the students were blind.To avoid the U-S ban on flights to Cuba, DeHaan drove to San Francisco, flewto Mexico and then took another plane to Havana. DeHaan says his trip wasapproved by the U-S State Department. He was amazed at the poverty in Cuba,as they didn’t even have traditional sheet music.DeHaan is 73-years-old and retired as the choral director at Clinton HighSchool after 39 years. In some ways, he felt right at home teaching again atthe Havana University of the Arts — but he says the depth of Cuba’s povertywas emphasized in the cafeteria where they didn’t have very much silverwareand had one pot of beans and one of rice.DeHaan’s wife went with him on the trip and gave away Spanish Bibles to thehotel help. The DeHaans went to Cuba as part of a program called “Pianas toHavana” which distributes used pianos to promising young Cuban musicians.
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