Tinkling the Ivories in Sanger Street

Published on 13 March 2019

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The Federation Youth Council unveiled their CommUNITY Piano on Tuesday evening prior to their monthly meeting.

Concerned with the issue of inclusion and acceptance of young people, the Federation Youth Council hope the piano is the catalyst for people to see each other, make conversation and come together without any prejudice.

The CommUNITY Piano was designed and painted by the Stage 5 Studio to Street Art class at Corowa High School who collaborated with the Federation Youth Council. The students worked with local Aboriginal artists, Iris Hill and Sophia Brear to design, paint and stencil the sanded back piano. Students involved in the project included Kaylie Martin, Sarah Knight, Victoria Borg, Ella Harvie, Chloe Hayes, Laura Duncan, Taelah Willett, and Skye Sephton-Howard.

Federation Council Youth Mayor Dylan Forge said over the past 12 months, the Youth Council have actively tried to find ways of inclusion and interaction for youth throughout our Council region.

“Projects like Oakland’s Flicks in the Sticks movie night, Howlong’s upcoming outdoor Ping Pong table and Corowa’s newly formed social soccer club are some of the major projects I am proud to help lead here at Federation Youth Council,” he said.

“The CommUNITY piano should be seen as a catalyst for youth and citizens to meet and interact in a fun and exciting way down Corowa’s iconic Sanger Street. The development and logistics of obtaining and providing a CommUNITY piano to the people of Corowa has been one of Federation Youth Councils major focuses throughout our first term in office and great help has come from many people behind the scenes both at Council and within the town.”

Local piano specialist, Ian Hayes from Albury prepared and delivered the piano and the stool was sold to the Youth Council by local piano player, John “Banjo” Patterson.

The piano positioned in front of Origin Clothing and is on a three-month trial to gauge the community’s response. Craig Spencer, and the team at Origin Clothing agreed to be the ‘piano partner’, late last year, by pushing the piano onto the street in the morning and tucking it away from the elements at night.

Beginner, novice and expert piano players are welcome to use the piano, which will be available to play Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m and Saturday morning till midday.

The CommUNITY piano is great not just for the music it brings, but is a powerful economic force, and acts as a magnet for tourists. The long term plan for the piano to remain in Sanger Street and shop owners and cafes who are eager to feature the piano and become a “partner” should contact Council and express their interest.

Designed to start conversations, activate the area and encourage passers-by to play, pianists of all-abilities are welcome to play the piano. Musicians are encouraged to record their performances and post them to their Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts using the hastag #visitcorowaregion.

The CommUNITY Piano Project is funded through the Youth Opportunities Program 2018.