Seven Pianos From “Play Me, I’m Yours 2012” Donated to Legacy Music Alliance

Seven pianos from the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art’s Play Me, I’m Yours 2012 summer project in Salt Lake City will be donated to Legacy Music Alliance; Pianos will be given to schools across Utah as part of LMA’s music education mission  

Salt Lake City, Utah (Jan. 25, 2013) Seven pianos that were part of the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art’s 2012 summer sensation called Play Me, I’m Yours in downtown Salt Lake City will be donated to Legacy Music Alliance for eventual adoption into school programs around the state.

Chrissy Upton, development coordinator for UMOCA, the presenter and organizer of Play Me, I’m Yours, said in announcing the donation “we are so pleased that these pianos will continue to be a symbol of creativity, visual artistry and musical expression for children throughout the state. When we learned of LMA’s mission to improve music education in Utah public schools, we agreed that this would be an ideal partnership.”

Gaylen Rust, president and founder of Legacy Music Alliance, said the pianos will be tuned and refurbished so they are in good working order before being distributed to schools.  “We are delighted to receive the Play Me, I’m Yours pianos and give them a new life. These pianos are more than just instruments. They represent the good that happens when a community works together to bring the arts into our everyday lives. We look forward to placing them in schools that need them.” All of the Play Me, I’m Yours pianos were individually painted by local artists as part of the community initiative and Rust pledged to keep the artwork intact.  The artists included Paul Heath, Ben Wiemeyer, Trent Call, Carey Ann Francis, Constant Dullaart and Sri Whipple/Jason Jones.  One of the pianos was painted during UMOCA’s Family Art Saturday.

For two weeks during June, 2012, 10 pianos in the Play Me, I’m Yours exhibition were placed in locations around Salt Lake City with the invitation for anyone – musicians, rank amateurs, and the musically untrained of every age – to play them. The pianos and the presentation were made possible through the generosity of several donors and sponsors including Daynes Music, Nordstrom, Bert and Lynnie Zimmerli, the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts , Salt Lake City Signature Event Fund, Downtown Alliance, Jarvis & Constance Doctorow Family Foundation, Mundi Project, Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts & Parks, Utah Arts Council, Salt Lake City Arts Council, City Weekly, and helpful piano minders at Jones Waldo, Celtic Bank, Squatters Pub Brewery, and the United States General Services Administration.

Among the artists who performed on the sidewalk pianos were Utah pianist Paul Cardall.  students from Salt Lake City’s piano education program – the Mundi Project – including 12-year-old Sarah Shipp performing Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto in G Minor, and the 5 Browns.

Utah leads the nation, per capita, in piano ownership. Play Me, I’m Yours was the brainchild of a British musician Luke Jerram, who introduced the concept in the UK in 2008. Since then, Play Me, I’m Yours has reached an estimated five million people worldwide. Salt Lake City now joins hundreds of cities across the globe, from New York to Sydney, who have participated in the initiative.  It has toured internationally with more than 600 pianos.

About UMOCA
The award-winning Utah Museum of Contemporary Art exhibits groundbreaking artwork by local, national, and international artists. Four gallery spaces provide an opportunity for the community to explore the contemporary cultural landscape through UMOCA’s exhibitions, films, events, classes, and presentations.

Founded in 1931, the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art has been recognized as Best Museum in the State of Utah for 2011 and 2012 and is a four-time  recipient of funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation.

Located at 20 S. West Temple; open Tuesday-Thursday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Friday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Saturday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; closed Sunday and Monday. Admission is free. For more information call (801) 328-4201 or visit www.utahmoca.org

 About Legacy Music Alliance

Legacy Music Alliance was organized in 2010 as a non-profit association to bolster music education in the Intermountain West and increase Utah’s stature as a prominent national music education and resource center. Program resources will be focused on every aspiring artist who wishes to develop their craft as well as music educators and music professionals in the region. The mission of the Alliance is comprehensive in scope providing everything from master classes, private lessons, and business skills to professional collaboration, and monetary support.  The Alliance will address urgent needs identified by music educators in the public classroom as well as assist talented artists with national ambitions. The Legacy Music Alliance is headed by CEO Gaylen Rust, a successful Utah businessman, and Dr. Craig Jessop, Chairman of the Executive Advisory Board and currently Dean of the Caine College of the Arts at Utah State University. Dr. Jessop was the former Director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. LMA is an education-based 501(c)(3) non-profit charity. For more information go to http://www.legacymusicalliance.org/