The community is invited to attend the launch of a new community piano in the Bundaberg CBD, including performances from local pianists.
Bundaberg Regional Council and the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre will launch the new piano following three generous donations from local families.
Three pianos in good working order have been donated to Council meaning that not only can the currently damaged piano be replaced but there are two more ready and waiting to be installed if and when needed.
The community is invited to celebrate the launch with a short lunch-time performance at midday on Friday 24 March.
Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said the replacement piano would be welcome news to many.
“The community piano is a fantastic initiative which has economic, social and cultural benefit to our community,” Cr Learmonth said.
“We’ve been receiving increasing community requests regarding tuning and damage on the existing instrument so we know many interested residents will be pleased to hear a replacement piano is on its way.
“It’s unfortunate that the community piano has been targeted by vandals on a regular basis but we are so grateful for the generosity of the three local families who have donated pianos because it ensures that we can continue this great initiative at low cost to ratepayers.
“We’re also introducing a regular tuning schedule for the new piano to ensure it stays in top condition and ready for the community to enjoy.”
Donated piano already has community history
The McCracken family has donated a Thalberg piano which was purchased in the 1950s and has already spent decades bringing joy to the Bundaberg Region community.
It was donated in memory of previous owner Edna Jean McCracken (nee Saunders), born in Gin Gin in 1924, who first began piano studies at the Roman Catholic Convent in Bourbong Street.
It was the beginning of a love for music which saw her become a rostered organist at the Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church and, during the war, perform for the soldiers alongside her brothers.
Edna participated in St Andrews Night Concerts and earned her letters at Trinity College which qualified her to become a piano teacher, following which she offered private lessons from home.
Her passion for piano only grew throughout her lifetime and her family fondly recalls that, in her later years, she would go regularly to the church services at Pioneer home to “play for the oldies”, despite the fact that many of the audience were younger than she was!
Now her family’s donation of her much-loved piano will continue to give joy to the community.
“As the next generation of the McCracken Family, we are so very pleased to have Edna’s musical legacy live on through Bundaberg’s Community Piano Project,” the McCracken family said.
“She would be quietly delighted that her beloved piano will continue to bring joy to many.”
Attend the community piano launch event
Everyone is welcome to attend the official launch of the new community piano which will feature a short lunch-time performance.
When: 12 pm Friday 24 March
Where: CBD pavilion, Bourbong Street
What: unveiling of the new community piano followed by performances by three local pianists