Music in the Park
Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department celebrated its fourth “Music in the Park” event, partnering with local artists to place pianos in select County parks.
Sandie Day, Senior Management Analyst at the Santa Clara County Parks, says the program began “when we saw Sunset Piano, which is a duo of two artists from the North Bay, [who put] pianos up on the hills in the San Mateo coast, overlooking Half Moon Bay. We thought, what an amazing opportunity to bring music to the parks!”
How it started
Dean Mermell and his partner, Mauro Ffortissimo, launched their venture in 2013. It started, according to Mermell, “with a single piano on the beach,” and has since grown into a program that continues to put pianos in other public spaces.
“I find that a lot of this has to do with context,” says Mermell. “When you take a piano out of a living room or a concert hall and you put it out into a more natural environment, it’s unexpected. It makes people listen in a completely different way, and they experience music in a completely different way.”
Piano players of all ages
All kinds of piano players come out to the park to play. Maureen Karpan, a local piano teacher, enjoys inviting her students to this unique event.
“I am always looking for opportunities for my piano students,” says Karpan. “I thought, this sounds like fun, because my students are in small classes in my studio but they don’t very often get to meet each other. We come down here and mix it up; I see two boys, who don’t know each other, on the piano at the same time, kind of showing off for each other and they try to play together. I just think that that is super fun.”
Harmony in nature
Sandie Day, describes the unique feel of this event. “It really is an unexpected thing when you are walking through and you come upon a piano, and we find it to be an amazing harmony. Nature has its own harmony in music and when you add a beautiful instrument, like a grand piano, the synthesis of it is just amazing to the ear.”
This event is just one of the many community-driven events that the Santa Clara County Parks Department puts on throughout the year. To learn more about this event and many others, go to Santa Clara County Parks.