Musicians and passerby’s may have noticed that the Fort Langley piano planted on the deck of 9148 Glover Rd is looking a little better than usual. No more chipped paint or sticky keys; Township Council has brought in a new Heintzman for anyone to come sit down and tinkle away.
The switch-over started with a man known by some as his stage name “Baron Boogie.” Norbert Marten was the owner and operator of Surrey’s Heritage Pianos for over 30 years, but has since retired – opting to “boogie away” in his free time and offer up the occasional live performance.
Councillor Bob Long said Marten brought the idea of street pianos a couple of years ago to council, which ended up getting the first instrument established in Fort Langley.
“He [Marten] bragged about quality of German pianos and voiced concerns over this piano’s condition,” Long explained. Luckily, a replacement wouldn’t be to much of a challenge to find. “People say ‘I have a beautiful piano, but we are downsizing or moving.’ Unfortunately, there is no home for wayward pianos.”
Jonathan and Jodi Grey from Port Moody were going to throw their perfectly fine piano to the landfill but got in contact with Marten first.
“It’s a Heintzman, which is actually one of the best in North America,” Long explained. “Music Box Piano Movers replaced the older piano and took it to special recycling center in Richmond.”
Long went to his fellow council members who all chipped in to personally cover the moving costs.
“Everyone on council donated – except for the mayor – he’s still owing,” Long teased.
The piano was put in its place on Saturday, July 6 where Long and Marten gave an impromptu concert. Long said he hopes to get Tourism Langley to feature the piano and even a business in town to sponsor and look after it as the seasons change.
“We hung around for about 45 minutes, and in that time, the amount of people that stopped by to tinkle on that piano… there is a lot of interest,” Long said.
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