We had a Janssen console piano in our house. My two sisters and I all took piano lessons, first from Mrs. Fanning, then from Mrs. Bowser. I lasted longer than my older sister, who had other interests. Imagine three girls all having to practice for at least thirty minutes each day! As much as I loved playing, and tried hard to memorize important pieces, someone was always better – Lili Morgan, Donna Leco. I chastised myself for not being good enough.
In college, I thought about majoring in music until I heard Rosemary Murray play “Rhapsody in Blue.” I almost cried, she was so good. And so much better than I was. I thought I could never be a music major next to Rose, so I switched to English (no regrets). When I discovered musical theatre, I jumped in (backstage), but had to wait for Tom Joaquin to graduate before I had a shot at being the rehearsal and performance pianist. I knew I had perhaps a fraction of the talent Tom possessed, and worked hard to be the best I could be. Senior year was “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” After college, I stuck around, and played for “Working” and “Evita.” I had the old Janssen in my Benefit Street apartment, until I moved to Washington, DC, and sold it to Rhode Island College.
I didn’t have a piano for a long time after that; there was never enough money or space, or there were simply too many stairs. In 2000, my husband bought me a gorgeous baby grand piano, a little smaller than usual to fit in our already small house. But what a beautiful piano!
I played it when I could, usually when I was alone, so no one would hear all my mistakes. Five years later, we decided to sell the house and move to a condo. The first time our realtor stepped into the living room, she pointed to the piano and said, “That has to go. It’s too big, it dominates the room.” There was nowhere else to put it. So we called the place where we’d bought it and explained the situation. They offered to take it in trade and gave us a Baldwin Pianovelle (yes!), a digital piano.
I’ll admit, I had a hard time adjusting to the “one-man-band” in this piano. I’ve played it, and it was fun to try certain pieces on the different instruments within the piano. And the accompaniments (Bossa Nova! Swing!) made for enjoyable rainy afternoons. But I don’t play it anymore. I just don’t have the time.
So, it’s for sale. I have no idea what it’s worth, and I can’t move it. If you want it, make me an offer. And bring a couple of strong young men to move it. Goodbye, old piano. xxx