Sing for Hope wanted to ensure that we sent our 88 pianos out into the city with a bang, so on May 16, we invited some of our closest friends and supporters to the first-ever Sing for Hope Pianos Launch Party.

In less than 24 hours, we turned our piano studio into an event space for the ages. The overhead fluorescent lamps were replaced by warm, inviting colored lights. The concrete floor that had been strewn with frayed dropcloths was now adorned with a green carpet to greet our guests. The painting station became a bar serving specialty cocktails, and extra storage space was filled with high top tables, two newly erected stages, and a photo booth supplied with oversized costumes and props.

Most people, however, weaved eagerly through the array of newly completed pianos on display. Each new piano offered something unique, and guests marveled over their favorites as the artists mingled among the crowd, showing off their work to loved ones and strangers alike.

The highlight of the party was an event we’d spent weeks cultivating. Just before 8pm, 88 members of the crowd started quietly slipping onto piano benches throughout the space. At exactly 8:08, they wordlessly launched into a performance of Bach’s Prelude in C, which they had rehearsed as a group only once, a few hours before. For a few minutes, all 88 pianos were being played simultaneously–a breathless moment that perfectly encapsulated the magnitude of the Sing for Hope Pianos.

After the initial performance, we welcomed the Sing for Hope Youth Chorus to the stage. The group, featuring a powerhouse solo from Volunteer Artist Belinda Munroe, brought the house down with a performance of ,Dream Big, Speak Loud, a piece that was commissioned specially for them. Later in the evening, Sylvana Joyce and The Moment helped transform the studio yet again: into a full-fledged dance party.

Just around midnight, the last guests trickled out, having just gotten an exclusive sneak peak of the 88 works of art that would soon be shared with the entire city.

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