Generous donations from local families have ensured the continuation of the popular community piano to spread music and joy in the Bundaberg CBD.
Three pianos in good working order have been donated to Bundaberg Regional Council meaning that not only can the previous, damaged piano be replaced but there are two more ready and waiting to be installed if and when needed.
Thanks to ongoing support from Bundaberg Regional Council through its Moncrieff Entertainment Centre, the replacement piano will also be on a regular tuning schedule in response to increasing community requests.
Ribbons adorned the ceiling of the CBD pavilion for a well-attended celebration to launch the new piano.
Mayor Jack Dempsey and Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth were joined by passionate piano player Muriel Pickworth to cut the ribbon on the new instrument.
Talented locals Alison O’Malley OAM, Barry Davis, Christie McLucas, Kate Hardisty and Ruby Rose delighted onlookers with performances.
Cr Learmonth said the community piano was originally installed in 2018 as a temporary public art installation but received such overwhelming support from residents that Council had maintained it ever since.
“The community piano is a way to encourage people to spend more time in the CBD,” Cr Learmonth said.
“This has obvious economic benefits for the business district however the feedback we receive from residents proves its impacts go far beyond this.
“It has served to bring people together, foster community spirit and just spread joy.
“Whether talented or simply enthusiastic the piano is available to all.
“The tinkling of the ivories can be heard throughout the CBD pavilion area and never fails to bring a smile to the faces of passers-by.
“Three separate donations from local families will now ensure this tradition can continue.”
Cr Learmonth said, to celebrate the theme of joy, the latest piano was being launched with a fresh, new look.
“The back of the piano has almost become an art installation in itself,” he said.
“It is now sporting a colourful new look which also provides people with a direct link to the latest Moncrieff Entertainment Centre program to get a further fix of arts and culture!”
However he said it was important – and unfortunate – to note that the backing had a dual purpose to protect the instrument from damage.
“Sadly, the community piano has been a frequent target for vandals.
“It is for this reason we are so very thankful for these generous donations otherwise the cost of continual replacement of the instruments would be too great.
“I would just like to reiterate that this is a community piano, so damaging or destroying it impacts everybody.
“Please treat it with respect and kindness to further the enjoyment for all and ensure these donated instruments can serve our community for some time to come.”
Another new addition to the community piano is the inclusion of locally relevant sheet music on its upper panel.
“Featuring ‘Hustling Hinkler’, the sheet music is just a fun addition to share a historically relevant song for the more experienced players,” Cr Learmonth said.
The community piano is located in the CBD Pavilion on Bourbong Street.