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Community piano hits the right note

Malek Kas from Paris checks out the new community piano in the Bundaberg CBD.
Malek Kas from Paris checks out the new community piano in the Bundaberg CBD.

A community piano in the Bundaberg CBD has been replaced and improved for residents and visitors alike to enjoy.

Originally positioned under the pavilion as a public art installation by Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery, the previous piano was well worn after more than 12 months of use.

Council's manager for arts and cultural services Rod Ainsworth said the time had come to replace the instrument with something a little more in tune.

“The original donated piano had plenty of use,” he said.

“Due to its popularity, but also because of its location of being outside and exposed to the elements, the piano was always going to have a relatively short life.”

Rod said a new piano was sourced thanks to assistance from local resident Merv Allan, who had a huge passion for the CBD project.

“Merv found the replacement piano at Lifeline Bundaberg for a very reasonable price,” Rod said.

“He regularly entertains the CBD crowds on the community piano and is very passionate about this community project.”

Merv loves the community piano

Merv Allan plays the community piano every day, seven days a week in the CBD and when the original instrument was no longer usable, he made it his mission to source a new one.

“I found one at Lifeline Bundaberg for a fairly good price and next thing I know, Bundaberg Regional Council had purchased it for the replacement,” he said.

Merv, who celebrates his 80th birthday today, said the community piano had brightened his day and everyone else who had the chance to listen or play it since its inception last year.

“I don’t read music, I play by ear and I often play old-time songs and the people in the CBD just love it,” he said.

“Families will gather round and I will show the children how to play chopsticks.

Merv is in 7th heaven.

Posted by Rod Ashwin on Thursday, July 4, 2019
Merv Allan filmed playing the community piano in the CBD.

“I truly believe it has been such a great asset to the community and brings people together.”

Merv is so passionate, he even created a Facebook group called Bundaberg CBD Community Piano Project and regularly posts updates, project ideas and videos.

He said the community piano had given him an excuse to work out his arthritis-ridden fingers and keep his mind active.

“My GP told me if I continued to play piano, it would keep me from suffering dementia,” he said.

“I don't have a piano of my own at home and love playing int he CBD for everyone to enjoy.”

Community piano brings joy to CBD visitors

Rod said it was hoped the new piano would survive a few years and he was pleased the project continued to strike a chord with the community.

new piano
The new piano in the Bundaberg CBD.

“The piano has proved to be a wonderful addition to our CBD and over the 12 months that we have had a piano in situ, the public have embraced it and most days there is someone there playing a tune or two,” he said.

“It has been a simple project that has brought wonderful community spirit and we thank everyone who has supported it.

“We are excited about enjoying more wonderful music in our CBD.”




  1. Can’t wait to get back to :annoy: the new piano, really looking forward to it. Hopefully it will not be vandalised as was the old one. Extra security has been installed as I understand. Merv.

  2. Hello merv, I think this is a wonderful idea, and how wonderful are you to entertain all who like to listen,I agree like the old saying ( if you dont use it you loose it) so keep going… and when I am next in town I hope you will be there so I can hear you play God bless you !!! X

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