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Piano on Broadway soon to be Removed

10th and Elm in downtown Columbia
KBIA File Photo

The piano located on the corner of Ninth Street and Broadway has played its final tune. Keys from the piano were removed on Saturday in response to noise complaints from businesses above Tellers Gallery and Bar where the piano is located.

Jeff Rioux, who works as a massage therapist above Tellers, he welcomed the idea of a piano downtown. He said it was only after the piano stayed there and wasn’t moved that he felt the music interfered with his work.

“For five months we lived with it thinking, gee, at some point they’re going to have to move it,” Rioux said.

After some talks, a representative from the True/False Film Fest contacted the Columbia Piano Technicians Guild, who placed the piano downtown in May. Jeremy Brown, the managing director of True/False Film Fest, said their representative expressed their concerns about the piano and offered the guild some advice.

“We think it’s reasonable that it’d be moved around to different locations. And that was our suggestion to them,” Brown said.

Lucy Urlacher, who works with the technician’s guild, said she received a complaint last Thursday from someone who had an office close by, whose name she did not want to reveal, urging the guild to remove the piano as soon as possible.

“I’m on it,” Urlacher said was her response.

“About an hour later, I got a second email from the same person saying ‘I’m afraid nobody’s taking responsibility for this,’” she said.

She said no one would be available to move the piano until today, which was not fast enough for the person who emailed her. At that point, Urlacher took it upon herself to screw down the key cover on Friday morning.

Later that afternoon, she received another email saying that cover was removed and people were continuing to play the piano.

As a last resort effort, she sent another person from the guild to remove the keys from the piano altogether.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the keyless piano still sat on the corner of Ninth Street and Broadway. She said the pianos in the downtown area were due to be removed either way because of the fast approaching seasonal weather.