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Dancing in the Streets at the Unveiling Event for Traverse City’s New Street Piano

Last night was the culmination of a lot of work to get Traverse City’s new street piano unveiled at a great community event featuring talented musicians, crowds of people, and more media coverage than we ever expected. It was fun and the two-hour event went by in a blur. But it was what happened after the event that was most exciting for Heather and I.

We grabbed a quick dinner and drink at Sorrelina and then headed back down the street at about 10 p.m. to put the tarp on the piano for the night. When we got there a group of people were gathered around the piano, playing and singing along. It was a family – three generations – in town from St. Louis, Connecticut and elsewhere, that happened upon the piano while strolling downtown, and a wonderful little lady named Ada who had arrived at the event three hours earlier. They were taking turns on the piano while others milled about, enjoying the spontaneous performance.

This was the manifestation of what we envisioned, and it was greatly rewarding to see people immediately partaking in some street piano fun.

In today’s post we wanted to share some photos and videos of the event for those who weren’t able to make it out. We also wanted to thank those who attended last night’s event, and especially those who helped make it happen.

We couldn’t have pulled this off without the partnership and assistance of Jerry Snowden and the team at Miller Snowden Development Group who made their beautiful patio space available for the piano, and generously helped finance the acquisition of the piano and other elements of the event. We are also extremely grateful to the local community of musicians who showed off their musical talents at the event. Special thanks are in order to Nick and Ivan Suminski who kicked off the performance, Tom Kaufmann who got the crowd – particularly the young children in attendance – dancing with his incredible talent, and David Chown and his daughter Kaysen who dropped in unexpectedly and dazzled everyone with an awesome four-hands duet.

The piano is now open to the public – make sure to check it out, either to play yourself or to listen to others perform! We want to see your photos and videos of the street piano in action, so tag them using #tcstreetpiano when posting to social media. We’re also running a contest on our Facebook page – we’ll be giving away a free t-shirt and gift card to the State Theatre to our favorite photo or video of the street piano in action.

It’s often said that music is an escape, but there’s no doubt that when people unplug the earbuds and gather together, music also has the power to bind people, and a community, together.