After months of organizing efforts, from January to June, to purchase a new piano, the Friendly Valley Country Club celebrated its new addition — a Yamaha C3 — with a gala on Saturday, Oct. 28.
Daria Landress, who is the president of Friendly Valley Friends of Music Club, said the community’s fundraising for the acquisition included events such as guitar night, jazz night, basket raffles and a golf tournament.
“The gala was the culmination of all these months of hard work, donations and community collaboration from local businesses, our residents, people who believe in the beauty of bringing music to Friendly Valley — as well as the people together in a harmonious way,” Landress said. “We saw the gala as a way to say thank you to our donors, to showcase the piano and our local talent, as well as a couple other musicians from the Los Angeles area.”
The goal of the gala, according to Landress, was to not only say thank you to those who donated, but also to entertain the same people who believed in its conception since the very beginning.
The piano has a retail value of $20,000, but the community found a better deal from others who appreciate the value of the craft.
“We found a used piano in Santa Barbara from a master piano technician, Jim Connoly. He’s certified and he’s got a place called The Piano Kitchen in Santa Barbara,” Landress said. “It was constructed — it was made in Hamamatsu in Japan for the American market. This is just a high-quality piano.”
The beautiful sound of the piano now resonates throughout the auditorium.
“We just were able to bring it to Friendly Valley and immediately start preparing to use it in our community. With our club members we’ve used it a couple of times — we’ve used it for fundraising for City of Hope,” Landress said. “We have people who live here from All Walks of Life go in and play the piano. We used it for the gala, and we plan on using it for a Christmas program.”
Not only is the piano a way of commemorating a new milestone for Friendly Valley, but also in bringing the community closer together, especially as the holiday season quickly approaches.
“It’s a positive and constructive community effort for a common goal — that’s always a beautiful thing,” Landress said. “To let the senior community know that these types of events, this type of energy, this type of cooperation is possible in bringing music like this to your community, is special.”