Making Beautiful Music with the Cuyahoga Land Bank

Aside from a few copper pipes and perhaps some nice woodwork or windows, demolition contractors for the Cuyahoga Land Bank do not often come across valuable treasures in houses scheduled for demolition. Until recently, that is, when demolition contractors discovered a Wurlitzer Baby Grand Piano in an abandoned home, just waiting for someone to rekindle its keys!
That someone would be Lafayette CarPiano_movethon, musician extraordinaire whose musical partners have included Celine Dion, Paula Abdul and the immortal Michael Jackson! Carthon has played piano, keyboards and synthesizer, directed choirs and handled remixing on various albums for many famous artists. A native Clevelander, Carthon founded and now directs the
Carthon Conservatory, which provides after-school music training and life skills development for kids and teens, as well as  parent empowerment classes and music lessons for seniors.
Carthon was already working with the Land Bank when the piano was found. “We are trying to secure a second site for the conservatory, to expand our services,” he says. So when the demo team found the Baby Grand, Land Bank staff knew the conservatory would give it a loving home.
“Saving this piano means so much more to us because we often see items that are too damaged and beyond salvage,” says Rosemary Woodruff, Property Specialist for the Cuyahoga Land Bank. “And knowing that this piano will be helping young musicians learn and grow gives us all a big morale boost.
Carthon has found a specialist to restore the piano and when complete, the Wurlitzer will be used for piano lessons and practicing.
“It’s a very, very welcomed gift,” he says. “We work with low-income students and people just trying to advance their musical skills.  Not a lot of them have instruments at home. Here we have an actual grand piano for them to practice on. It’s so exciting!”
Another piano also was found in the abandoned home, but unfortunately, it was deteriorated beyond restoration.

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