Hello friends, and thank you for taking a look at the latest news from Pianos for People. 

As you know, our organization has a lot to be thankful for this year. And while we  all ordin arily spend this season offering thanks in the context of a given religious, or spiritual, tradition, today my gratitude is directed not towards the skies, but across the street, around the corner, and right next door, to you. 

When I was knocked out of commission by a gunman's bullet several weeks ago, it w as you who went to work. It was you who came together, either literally or figuratively, and made sure that no matter the outcome of my surgeries, Pianos for People will be healthy. You did so thro ugh donations, social media, and word of mouth that led to even more contributions, and ever-increasing awareness. 

And our teachers, leadership, volunteers, students, and their families demonstrated that no matter how much we grow, we remain a close-knit family.  All together, you made sure our response to gun violence was to double down on the belief that we are doing the right thing. That we need to stay the course on Cherokee and in Ferguson.  And continue providing a positive, safe, and inspiring alternative to kids with fewer re sources, more challenges, and tempting life choices that often end in suffering or despair. 

So, my thanks today is to all of you. While I was asleep all those days, you rushed forward and said to a troubled, and often violent world, "you can't stop us now."

I wish I could say it with more than just words, but thank you. 

Love to all,



Thanks to an introduction and tickets from supporter Mr James Hirsch, a group of students and teachers were taken backstage by Peter Martin to meet Wynton Marsalis in person prior to the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra concert at the Sheldon Theatre. 

  Mr Marsalis said "I love what Pianos for People is doing!" 

Wynton Marsalis with students and staff from Pianos for People 


AN EVENING OF 100 FINGERS  was a night of high emotion, starting with the first post-hospital appearance by Tom Townsend who performed Amazing Grace with student Demi Brown -- it brought the packed house to their feet and tears to their eyes. MEET OUR YOUNG PERFORMERS HERE  

Tom Townsend and 15 year old PFP student Demi Brown performing Amazing Grace

The event featured moving
 performances of our students along side a line up of some of St Louis' most talented musicians including; Ruth Price, Lorraine Glass-Harris, ElDraco, The Adam Maness Trio, Anita Jackson, Brian Owens, and former PFP (now Berklee College of Music) student, Royce Martin, who was flown in as a surprise for the occasion by our Presenting Sponsor, AB Mauri.

Royce Martin made a surprise appearance from Boston 

Brian Owens and the Adam Maness Trio 

Pianos for People welcomed many new sponsors and supporters to the Evening of 100 Fingers -- who along with generous donors, made this year's event the most successful yet. With your help we doubled our net funds raised over the previous year.    A special thank you to Peter Martin for offering a private performance as a valuable silent-auction item. 

And t hank you to all who believe in the transformational power of music!


With our great expansion over the past four years, we needed a new website to reflect our growth of activities and depth of programs.  The new Pianos for People  WEBSITE  is a major upgrade in every way -- technology, content and aesthetics.  We are grateful for the generosity of Savannah-based  RobMark  for their work, f eaturing the beautiful portraits and multiple award-winning ad campaign created by  Rodgers Townsend.   And, thank you also to MICDS high-school Junior Tanay Chandak who offered his volunteer services to build us a brilliant new customized platform for our piano donations program


From ages 4 - 74, we now have almost 200 enrollments for weekly lessons, group classes and workshops at our Ferguson and Cherokee Studios.  Our team of teachers meet monthly to plan events, lessons, discuss opportunities and challenges, and share ideas and expertise. From music production to improvisation -- jazz to classical -- early childhood to adult -- their various skills have allowed us to respond to community needs.

Our FOCUS GROUPS (thank you Strategies for Growth!) reveal that our committed, experienced and warm staff is a key to our success. Through creative special events, parent involvement, and an inviting spirit of inclusion, participants described PFP as "creating a true sense of community."

As one of our students wrote to Tom in the hospital "Pianos for People has completely changed my life and that of so many other around me. It means so much to me to have a place so full of kindness, love, generosity and community to go and learn new things from each other. "  

L-R Sheena Duncan (Executive Director) Elizabeth Welsh, Hannah Herum, Tre'von Griffith, Amy Seibert, Kayia Baker (Piano School Director), Pat Eastman (Co-Founder) Ines Erasquirn, Claire Miller.(Missing Mike Carosello and Danny Ravensberg)


With our expansion in Ferguson, now teaching over 20 hours per week, 6 group classes and workshops, private lessons, and over 60 children, Pianos for People has appointed a Ferguson lead teacher.   

Hannah Herum, who has been on our teaching staff for two years,  grew up in the Ferguson area, holds a Masters in Religion & Culture and studied Music as a minor at UMSL. She is a recording artist and songwriter, and has taught piano and guitar lessons for 10 years.   She is passionate about people, justice, art, writing, music, nature, and regularly works with homeless youth in St. Louis.  

The expansion in Ferguson has been made possible by support from the Siteman Family Foundation and the Emerson Charitable Trust. 

Hannah Herum and two of our 150+ summer 'campers'


By the end of 2018, Pianos for People will have delivered 255 refurbished pianos since January 2013,  including one to New Haven Manor, a housing complex for seniors. Pianos for People was contacted by one of the residents, Carol,  who was requesting a piano for the recreation room in the complex  "especially for Irvin --  because his Parkinson's is so severe -- he can come up here and just play beautifully and just block everything out, the twitches in his movements -- he's at peace at a piano. And I saw that one day, and I said I want to get him a piano!"

The center's broken down piano was replaced with an upright donated by the Steinway Piano Gallery, a Sohmer & Co. with a beautiful tone, completely refurbished, in tune, and freshly cleaned. One of our trusted piano movers,  Olson Pianos graciously donated this move. 

Carol and Mary from New Haven Manor with their newly refurbished piano

3138 Cherokee Street
St Louis 63118
(314) 285 5852