For the past seven years, our #ComePlayWithMeNL Public Piano program has been helping spread joy by creating a lively atmosphere and connecting people through spontaneous musical moments. Launching in 2014 with the JAG Hotel piano at St. John’s International Airport, we now have nine pianos located across the province, and two awaiting placement (click here to learn more).
These instruments are generously donated by individuals from the community, sponsored by local businesses, painted by local artists and debuted by local musicians. But while they’ve been sitting silently since 2020 (for obvious reasons), we’re happy to share that they’re making beautiful music once again!
We officially rang in the relaunch of the program with a series of special musical performances, starting with a festive performance by Memorial University graduate music student Angelica Lopez-Arzate, accompanied by Beto de la Paz, on December 10 at the Emera Innovation Exchange at Signal Hill Campus. Lopez-Arzate made the baby grand (sponsored by Memorial University) sing beautifully, and helped everyone get into the holiday spirit.
The next morning, December 11, saw the festivities continue as award-winning musician Sherman Downey belted out a beautiful performance on the Cox & Palmer public piano (featuring the whimsical artwork of Julie Lewis) at the St. John’s Farmer’s Market – creating a lovely soundtrack as people enjoyed some local holiday shopping.
And a few days later, on December 15, Memorial University music students and folk duo the Antle Sisters shared a lovely performance from the public piano (sponsored by Avalon Laboratories, with artwork by Louise Markus) at the auditorium of the Health Sciences Centre.
We were also honoured to have Newfoundland & Labrador band The Once share a gorgeous and moving performance from the Come From Away public piano (featuring the artwork of Jennifer Young) at Gander International Airport. The beloved folk trio sang “Stop the World” from the “Covers From Away” album (which features local artists who inspired the sound of the internationally acclaimed musical) – their first time performing the tune live. The Once will also be performing a virtual Christmas concert on December 22 (click here for details).
We’ll be wrapping up the season on Wednesday morning with the relaunch of our public piano at the St. John’s Arts & Culture Centre (sponsored by Toyota Plaza and featuring the artwork of the 2019 graduates of CNA’s Textile & Apparel Design Program). Stay tuned to social media for a video of the reopening performance.
We are so delighted to have our public pianos back in action, and hope they bring you some joy during the holiday season. We invite you to play and enjoy these instruments (keeping in mind current public health and safety guidelines, and following hand sanitizing and social distancing measures), and to share your special musical moments with us on social media.
Have a happy, and safe, holiday everyone!