Baldwin Piano and Organ Center, founded in l937 has been named HerrinFesta Corporate Honoree for 2019.  The company occupies three historic building in downtown Herrin on the corner of East Monroe and North Park. It began its musical journey 82 years ago.  

The late Bill Barras purchased the business from Mildred Yuill in 1965.  Barras died in 2010, and Bruce Steh, his former business partner, became owner

Barras, a community leader, provided decades of service to churches, schools, individuals and musicians with a quality inventory of pianos and organs, music and direction that has given Baldwin a customer base that spans much of the Midwest. Baldwin continues to be an active member of the community with seminars, receptions, classes, and recitals to spotlight young musicians and to engage interested citizens in musical endeavors. One of Herrin’s longest running businesses is an anchor to the downtown district and houses the Baldwin business and luxury apartments on the second floor.

Bruce Steh, a Johnston City native, came to Herrin in November of 1976 and worked at both Studio 1 (floral, framing and gifts) and Baldwin Piano and Organ Center, 200 North Park Avenue.   At Baldwin he began dusting and cleaning pianos and helping out with deliveries, and quickly moved into sales.  He started taking piano lessons in 7th grade and has been playing ever since.  Bruce estimates he has sold hundreds of acoustic and digital pianos and organs in the past 5 years.  He currently has approximately 300 new and pre-owned instruments in stock.  Baldwin has two part time employees, and that number varies depending on the season and sales.  

In memory of Bill Barras, The JW Bill Barras Jr. Memorial Foundation has been launched to promote the study of music among area students with college scholarships and funding assistance. Bruce Steh says, “It is an honor to continue the traditions and services that are the trademark of Baldwin Piano and Organ Center.”