Stars align for this happy customer!

Posted by on May 7, 2014 in Current Events | Comments Off on Stars align for this happy customer!

Stars align for this happy customer!

I am writing this letter today to pass along my satisfaction with the purchase of my new Yamaha Grand Piano.  There is a bit of a unique story that makes this purchase even more treasured and one that I felt was too good not to share.

In December of 2012, my wife and I sustained a rather severe townhouse fire that irreparably damaged my upright piano.  The fire was caused by an overheated laptop – I was slightly injured while rescuing our dogs, and many of our prized possessions were completely destroyed.  As part of our insurance claim that was completed a year later, I set out to replace my piano.  After the challenges of the prior year, and since it had been a lifetime dream, I decided I would purchase a grand piano.  I have been playing since age 4, and although performing is not my primary career, I am the resident pianist and organist of a small Methodist church and enjoy playing in my spare time.

After spending a month or so trying out various different pianos, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to purchase a new Yamaha C2X (5’8”) – this piano had such a bright vibrant sound, was of sufficient size for a townhouse, and fell within our budget.  I contacted the dealer in the Metropolitan Washington DC area, but could not strike a deal for the piano – something just didn’t feel right.  My wife and I have considered moving to Richmond recently (about 2 hours south of where we live), and a few weeks later, I had to travel to Richmond for work with my full-time employer.  I wanted to check out the local piano retail shops, so I stopped in to the Yamaha dealer (Rhapsody Piano) to inquire about the piano I was sure I wanted.  David at Rhapsody showed me the C2X model and agreed to a slightly lower price than I had received with the dealer nearest home.

As we were about to conclude our deal, David asked if I wanted to play a simply “amazing” piano.  He led me back to their recital hall, and there sat a Yamaha C5 (6’7”) Piano.  I sat down and played and of course it was superb.  As I played, he told me the story of how Rhapsody acquired such a great instrument.

The story goes that the piano was brought in for a concert performed by Mr. Marc Cohn – a Grammy-winning pianist who exclusively plays Yamaha Pianos.  The concert was held in November, 2012 and this particular C5 was brought in especially for that show.  I was told that Rhapsody Piano wouldn’t normally carry such a piano in stock, but they needed something “worthy” of Mr. Cohn to play, and they then chose to hold on to it for use in their recital hall.  After the concert, Mr. Cohn was such a gracious performer that he autographed the plate of the piano.  I lifted the piano lid, and about halfway down the plate is Marc Cohn’s signature.

Marc Cohn is by far and away one of my favorite pianists.  I met my wife in 2003 and she also fell in love with his music.  Together, we saw him live in 2004, 2008, and 2011 and he played our favorites including Healing Hands, She’s Becoming Gold, True Companion, and others.  During our courtship, I learned to play several of his songs for her and in a few days, we will be seeing him for the 4th time as a couple when he plays in Alexandria, VA at the Birchmere in celebration of our 6th anniversary. 

When I looked at the date he’d written on the piano, I immediately thought backwards almost 18 months beforehand and realized that in November of 2012, I had a single business trip for one night only in Richmond, merely a month or so before the fire occurred, and also by chance attended an impromptu Marc Cohn concert.  That show was held in the John Marshall Hotel ballroom, and maybe about 150 people attended – it was quite small and intimate.  My colleague and I literally were looking for something to do that evening and stumbled upon the show.  I convinced him to go, as I had been to 3 prior concerts and suggested he’d enjoy it.  We sat in the rear bank of seats but were still probably only 50 feet from the stage – and it was an absolutely terrific show.

Fast forward 18 months, and only as a result of the house fire, I found myself one-on-one with this gorgeous instrument and its unique history.  After some extensive discussion with David at Rhapsody about the history of the instrument, how gracious Mr. Cohn was to their crew and how many wonderful things Marc had to say about the piano, as well as convincing him I was actually at that show, he asked if I was interested in purchasing this instrument.  He made me an offer that I simply couldn’t refuse, and although it was substantially higher than what we had initially budgeted for a piano, the history, the story, and the legacy of the performer with his autograph on this piece was impossible to pass up.

About 4 weeks later, this piano was delivered to our home where it now sits and is played at least daily, with the ticket stub framed and hanging on the wall above it.  This instrument fills our townhouse with beautiful sound every day – it has been meticulously maintained since that concert and may be the last piano we ever buy.   This will be the piano that my now 7 month old daughter Quinn learns on, and it will bring us joy for many many years to come.

It’s absolutely mind boggling to think of how all of these seemingly unrelated and random life events that occur all came back together and allowed me to own this instrument that is signed by one of our favorite artists and pianists.  We never thought that such happiness could be pulled from such a low point in life.  Looking back and even to a small degree today, I felt tremendous guilt about the fire…it was my laptop that started it, and although the Fire Marshall concluded this was a manufacturer defect that caused this ignition, I couldn’t help but wonder “what if” I had done something different that fateful day.  All I can conclude, without getting religious, is that the world is mysterious and that there is a greater power or force in control.  The stars aligned just perfectly somehow for us to intersect with this Piano.

I don’t know how many pianos Mr. Cohn autographs or how many C5s Rhapsody Piano sells, but I do know that Yamaha, Marc Cohn, and David and Paul at Rhapsody Piano will occupy a small, but significant portion of my soul for allowing this all to happen.  Everyone I have told this story to has been amazed and it continues to amaze me to this day.

Thank you for allowing me to share this story, thank you to Yamaha for your product, Mr. Cohn for your music, and Rhapsody Piano for your willingness to sell me this instrument.  This piano will be treasured for many years to come.