I guess that, at 28, I'm relatively young in mechanical music circles.
I sometimes worry that the instruments we love are not appreciate by
younger people and I wonder how many player pianos, player organs,
orchestrions, etc., will be around as the years go by and aging
enthusiasts quit this life.
But I was encouraged a few days ago. I am currently studying and
living at The Salvation Army Officer Training College in Sydney,
Australia. Some of my session mates shake their heads in disbelief,
but I now have an 88-note player piano in my hostel room.
On Friday night, upon returning from selling 'The War Cry' in hotels,
I decided to pump through a few rolls. At the end of the first roll
I heard applause outside my window. I drew back the curtain to find
that the children of some of the other cadets had been listening and
were impressed with my pianistic ability.
I beckoned them over and showed them the player. They were amazed.
Comments like "There's a ghost playing the piano!" were made as they
watched the keys dance up and down. They then spent about half an hour
listening, dancing and marching about as I pumped through some more
rolls. Even in these days of television and computer games, the humble
player piano has not lost it's appeal!
Cadet Mark A. Williamson