Key attraction arrives at mall

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The joy of singing round the old joanna has come to Cromwell Mall.

A colourful upright piano will be available for members of the public to play outside the pharmacy during shop hours.

The idea came about when Jackie Hamilton, who works at the pharmacy, was travelling overseas and saw how popular pianos in public spaces were.

“There is always a bit of a queue of people to use them, and the music is always pretty good.”

A piano player herself, she posted the idea to the social media page of the Cromwell Business Network, and had a positive response.

This led to a conversation with Cromwell Community Arts chairwoman Heather McPherson.

“I’ve always wanted to have a piano in the mall, or in Cromwell somewhere,” Mrs McPherson said.

She mentioned the idea to Stuart Croft who tuned the piano at Bannockburn Hall.

“About two weeks later he rang me up and said ‘I think I’ve got a piano for you’.”

The piano had been painted bright blue with an insert panel by local artist Gail de Jong, Mrs McPherson said.

Since it was installed several people had stopped to play the piano, and Mrs Hamilton aimed to spend most lunchtimes playing some tunes.

An important aspect for Mrs Hamilton was recognising there were people from many different cultural backgrounds in Cromwell.

“For a lot of those people there will be one person in the middle of that culture that can play the piano”.

Music was an “international language” that might make people feel “a little more grounded” in Cromwell, she said.