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EDITORIAL: Combination of just the right notes

The bummer crowd can try to spoil the fun. But ultimately they cant keep the happy spirits down.

Whoever had a hand in wrecking the outdoor piano in downtown New Glasgow, shame on you. We really have to wonder about the mentality of someone who would want to destroy something of beauty, that brings a few moments of casual pleasure to so many.

Police are investigating, and we sincerely hope they are successful in finding who is responsible for tearing pieces off the instrument and knocking it over. But cowards act in the dark, so it might be a challenge.

It seems there was an element of premeditation since it appears they must have used tools to do the damage.

In the meantime, after the town posted pictures of the vandalism on Facebook, people responded expressing support, with several offering to donate a piano as a replacement.

Although anger over the incident is certainly expected, much has registered on the positive scale. Geralyn MacDonald, director of community economic development for New Glasgow, said the support received shows how important the piano is to people.

Like any community asset, people took ownership, young children enjoyed playing it, as did people from beginner to professional level.

The communitys response goes to show, as frustrating as mindless vandalism is, people arent going to let it get them down. A number of folks, within and outside the area, indicated their willingness to donate a piano for the joy of those who feel the urge to tickle the ivories out there among the passersby, pound out an invigorating roll, maybe entertain some people who have time on their agenda to stop for a few minutes.

In fact, New Glasgow is aiming to have three such outdoor pianos for peoples enjoyment by next summer.

This outdoor piano concept has shown up in many towns and villages, and its a wonderful, fun feature. Theyre often painted or decorated to reflect the whimsy of such an idea. Finding a fine instrument out in the street can catch a person off guard, its a bit surreal, and thats half the fun.

But its also a grand gesture within a community to take the joy of music out to the people. Thats the origins of this ancient of ancients in art forms. Before music became the thing of stage, the product of recordings and professional artists, it was the stuff of communal joy and expression. Where two or three or more voices came together, perhaps some plucked strings or wind directed through a reed, percussion on a hollow log, there the magic of music laid bare the spirit of a people.

Its a similar tune here: a community has responded to an attack on its pride and sense of fun and beauty. This tradition will continue, and expect people who cherish this feature to keep a careful eye on the piano. Thats what communities are – harmony in the finest sense.

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