Basketball + Piano
February 25, 2011
Today I was in the YMCA gymnasium running lay-ups. Yes, as in basketball. It beats the heck out of running on the treadmill, which for me is the ultimate form of boredom. So here I am, sprinting back and forth across the empty court, shooting a hoop on either side, enjoying the polyrhythms created between my feet and the ball, all the while deep in thought... I need a new performance for my students... I need a new performance for my students to take place in the summer... I need a casual performance for my students to take place in the summer... I need a casual performance for my students to take place in the summer that involves our community... I need a casual performance in the summer that involves our community and gives back... I need a casual performance in the summer that involves the community and gives back to something the kids can comprehend... I need a casual performance in the summer that involves the community and gives back to something the kids love, like Skip... I need a casual performance in the summer that involves the community and gives back to animals like Skip...
And then it came to me: A PIANO PLAY-A-THON TO BENEFIT THE ATLANTA HUMANE SOCIETY. This thought process took up about the first ten minutes of my thirty minute lay-up ritual, so I still had twenty minutes to conjure up some details. It goes like this:
Some Saturday, toward the end of June, we have the Piano Play-a-thon to benefit the Atlanta Humane Society. This performance will be a few hours long, an open-house kind of setup, where kids come, play as much music as they want, and entertain the people who have stopped in during that time. Think of it like an art opening, but with music.
Prior to the performance, kids get pledges from friends and neighbors to raise money for the cause. Hopefully we can make 100% of the proceeds go to the shelter.
Some logistics to work out:
1. Where to hold this event. I would like to hold it in the Candler Park area, walking distance for students, friends, and neighbors. Somewhere that would open up their doors for free and either have a good piano that can be set up for the event, or...
2. Find a piano sponsor. We need a good piano, and maybe we can find a piano vendor to supply us with a piano for the day, free of charge.
3. Obtain sponsorship of food and beverage. It would be nice to have food and beverages for performers, their families, and visiting concert goers. And since the goal is to allow 100% of the donations to go to the shelter, it would be nice to have a local business sponsor the food and beverages.
This idea is still very fresh. Please, email me or talk to me at lessons about ways you think we could make this happen. Perhaps you know of a food vendor? Maybe you know of the perfect venue, and have a way for us to use it for free? Etc, etc, etc.
I am very excited about this idea and hope you are, too.
As an aside, as I was finishing the last leg of the lay-up workout, an older white-haired gentleman began walking laps on the lofted track above the court, iPod in hand, singing along to Cole Porter tunes in a wonderful falsetto. The sound of this stout man's voice gently proliferated the otherwise mute gymnasium. It was just his voice and my polyrhythms.
What a good day.