Lehigh Valley

Refurbished piano lives on the streets of downtown Easton

EASTON, Pa. - In a noisy downtown Easton, the sound of change grows louder.

"I was walking up the street and I said, 'Oh! Maybe I'll get to play the piano,'" said Bill Thompson of Phillipsburg.

"I grew up in Easton, I've seen the progression over the years. It just seemed like the right time to do it," said Chris Fairchild.

Fairchild, a member of the Easton Piano Rescue, says adding free music to the city's center is an easy way to set the tone for its growing arts community.

Old, discarded pianos are rescued, rehabbed, and placed in public places for all to enjoy. The first is outside the Easton Public Market. 

"I think it's really cool. I haven't played piano in a long time. It just kind of reminded me of taking piano lessons," said Cici Chadli.

Rusty Lehr, a retired professional musician, found comfort at the keys during a difficult visit back to his hometown.

"I was up here to see my mother but she passed away. I came down here for lunch and I saw the piano and I definitely had to play it. That was it," Lehr said.

Fairchild understands the piano won't last forever, but says it doesn't have to end on a high note.

"It's going to go out of tune, it's going to deteriorate, it's going to die on the street. But first, it will live on the street for a while and hopefully add some life to the city," he said.

The Easton Piano Rescue says it hopes to refurbish more pianos and place them around the city.

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