OC Can Still Play . . . Until Sunday

Categories: For a cause
SanJuanCapo.jpg
Art Guevara
San Juan Capistrano Piano

Those 20 artfully painted pianos that have been donated and spread across our county for the past couple of weeks as part of Pacific Symphony's "OC Can You Play?" project are still around, but not for much longer. Having started on Jan. 16, the series comes to a close this Sunday. The charitable among us have until 10 p.m. Saturday to make a bid on 18 of the 20 pianos on the BiddingForGood website, with all proceeds going to support Pacific Symphony's artistic and education programs. As of the time of this writing, only six bids, ranging from $25 to $1,700, have been placed!

As previously noted in Heard Mentality, part of the promotion also asks people to take pictures of themselves at all 20 pianos and submit them on Pacific Symphony's Facebook page for an opportunity to win two season tickets for the orchestra's classical, pops or summer series. Those who makes it to at least three get a 20 percent discount on their next ticket purchase. 

One pianist, Orange Juice Blog editor-in-chief Vern Nelson, has taken it one step further, crisscrossing cities all the way from Anaheim in the north of OC to San Juan Capistrano in the south of the county in an effort to play and film his performances at every piano.


Being savvy in local politics, certain locations brought about special dedications. On Anaheim's Downtown Disney piano, Nelson began playing "Rhapsody in Blue" in the name of the Disney Resort Area hotel workers who have been in a contract dispute for years over health benefits. The Weekly's own R. Scott Moxley's investigative digs into Irvine's Great Park initially inspired a sullen piece by Béla Bartók. Best of all for the pianist, David Bowie's "Changes" was the song of choice in San Juan Capistrano, given all the blogging he had done about last year's contentious Capistrano Unified School District recall election.

Nelson ends his quest with some repeat spots this weekend, including more songs from Francisco Gabilondo Soler, a.k.a. Cri Cri el Grillito Cantor, that he first played in San Juan Capistrano for Art Guevara, a local artist who decked out the piano situated across from the mission with the eyes of the famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera.

For the rest of you who want to tickle those keys around OC as part of the project, you have until Feb. 6 to show you, too, can play!


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