Outdoor piano program could be instrumental for Lititz

By on July 16, 2014

People walking past Dosie Dough on Broad Street last Thursday were pleasantly surprised to see a brightly-painted piano sitting in the outdoor patio area of the popular coffee consortium.

The upright piano with a pretzel motif, was designed and painted by local artist and owner of Penny Lane Graphics, Bill Dussinger.

“I designed the piano as a generic Lititz piano,” Dussinger said, “using pretzels as the main element of design. I used bright colors to make the piano stand out and look fun.”

Dussinger was approached to decorate the piano by Kelly Withum of Venture Lititz.

“Two months ago we were approached by the Music for Everyone coordinators and asked if we would participate in the program ‘Keys for the City/Lititz’,” Withum said. “We were very receptive. Sue Barry and myself have been meeting with them to help develop the program. Because we got a late start, we may only have one or two pianos this year. But we hope it will create excitement for next year.”

Keys for the City has already placed 12 custom-designed pianos in downtown Lancaster. It’s not unusual, at any time of day, to find someone sitting down and playing one of them. The sponsors vary from bigger corporations like Faulkner BMW and The United Way of Lancaster County to smaller enterprises: Lancaster Day Care Center, Fresh Coat of Lancaster and West End Yoga.

Ava and Titus Layton enjoyed breakfast on the patio at Dosie Dough with their dad, then paused to try out the new outdoor piano. Neither sibling has taken formal lessons, but Ava gave the theme from “Jaws” a shot. (Photo by Stephen Seeber)

Titus and Ava Layton enjoyed breakfast on the patio at Dosie Dough with their dad, then paused to try out the new outdoor piano. Neither sibling has taken formal lessons, but Ava gave the theme from “Jaws” a shot. (Photo by Stephen Seeber)

When Music for Everyone was ready to expand its program to outlying cities within the county, Lititz was an easy choice for volunteer organizer Tom Dux.

“My sister and brother-in-law have lived and worked in Lititz for 41 years. I have only lived in Lancaster for 25 years. So for me Lititz has been a pleasant destination for many years,” Dux said. “I also know Lititz is directly tied to the music industry. For the Music for Everyone program, it just seemed like a natural fit.”

Dosie Dough quickly stepped up to sponsor a piano, Withum said.

“The piano will be there every day until the beginning of October,” Withum noted. “We have a few other locations in mind for future pianos. It is best if they can be placed where there is an overhang.”

The hope of Keys for the City/Lititz is to place several more pianos around town over the next two years. Those interested in sponsoring or designing/decorating a piano, should contact Tom Dux at 610-659-3317 or tomdux@comcast.net.

Withum hopes the program encourages everyone to take the opportunity to interact with a piano.

“I remember as a small child standing under a neighbor’s window as she would play beautiful piano pieces,” Withum said. “I never learned myself, but if ‘Keys for Lititz’ encourages one child or adult to take lessons, it is a successful program.”

Readers can learn more about the Keys for the City program at keysforthecity.com.

Melissa Hunnefield is a staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at mhunnefield.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4452

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