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Sing For Hope Pianos Has Returned

Ellen Levitt

Posted on June 3, 2022 18:57

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The non-profit music organization Sing For Hope has brought back its beloved pianos in NYC.

The Covid-19 Pandemic has changed many aspects of our calendars and our lives. One of the beloved New York City traditions that just returned is the Sing For Hope Pianos. Since 2006, this non-profit group has put together a variety of activities centered around music outreach. The signature activity is setting up painted pianos in various parts of the five boroughs of NYC, for the public to play in public. June is the month set aside for this outdoor activity.

I've been a fan of this initiative each year and was very pleased that they had the open piano playing day on Friday, June 3rd. In past years there were more than thirty pianos offered, each restored and painted in different styles, and then placed in public spaces throughout the City. This year there are only ten, and they won't be spread out quite as much as in the past.

I traveled over to 28 Liberty Plaza, aka One Chase Manhattan Plaza. It's easily accessible by train and located in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan. Besides this skyscraper, there is a fountain designed by sculptor Isamu Noguchi and a sculpture by Alexander Calder. In the plaza, I saw this season's ten pianos, and I played music on a few of them.

I sat at one piano and played a simple version of "When The Saints Go Marching In." An elementary school aged boy smiled and walked over to hear; he was one of the kids, clad in green t-shirts, who would be singing with his school choir a bit later at this event. His teacher told him the name of the song and he bopped his head to it.

There were other media people in attendance, including cameramen (and at least two seemed to have captured me in still photos or video!). Other people had wandered over, tinkling the ivories and watching others do so.

I really like this yearly program; the fanciful pianos (most are uprights) have been fixed up and tuned, and then are painted by one or more artists. This year I really liked this black-and-white piano designed by Cory Tyler. I also liked the one named "Urban Harmony" by artist King Yan "Fina" Yeung.

The pianos were all in tune (I know; I have perfect pitch) and people were having fun, sitting down and playing all types of music. 

In past years I have made it a point of going to different locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan, to play (and photograph) the Sing For Hope pianos. If you are in NYC or will be during the month of June, search them out and give them a try. It will make you happy for a few minutes. 

 

Ellen Levitt

Posted on June 3, 2022 18:57

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Source: CBS New York

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