Upon returning from my first Hawaiian vacation, my parents announced, “Kids, there’s a big surprise waiting for you at home!” Sure enough, a shiny gleaming 6’ Baldwin grand piano was in our living room. I was so excited!
It replaced a decrepit antique upright Wurlitzer that I had been practicing on for a few years now with a sorely missing F sharp key. I thought with much delight that this piano could help bring me closer to my dream to someday perform. I was 13.
A year and a half later, that came to fruition when I performed my first piano concerto with full orchestra at junior high. I played Chopin’s Grande Polonaise to a packed audience of parents and students. It was surreal. Ironically, the school did not have a grand piano, so I performed on an upright. But the memory of being upgraded to a beautiful instrument that brought such beautiful sounds remains with me forever, a pivotal moment in my life.