The Nifong Room was packed full for the Coming Out Party celebrating the newest addition to Lenoir Woods – a beautiful Yamaha baby grand piano.
And it couldn’t have asked for better escorts for the evening, as University of Missouri Associate Professor of Piano Dr. Peter Miyamoto and his wife Ayako Tsuruta accepted the community’s invitation to christen the new instrument with a transcendent performance by two of Columbia’s most accomplished pianists.
The concert was the realization of a long-time dream for a number of Lenoir Woods residents, including Ed and Judith Chmielewski who spearheaded the campaign to replace the community’s aging piano. “It must’ve come with the building back in the 1940s,” Ed laughs. “It could no longer hold a tune. Judith and I, we have a great interest in classical music, and we thought, well, something should be done.”
The couple made some private inquiries, and within a relatively short time, they were able to help Lenoir Woods raise enough to make the purchase. “People here are really proud of it,” he says. “This allows us to invite a different class of performer out to Lenoir Woods.” And that’s been a goal of the Chmielewskis for some time – to bring more cultural events to campus for the enjoyment of their neighbors.
“Music should be a gift of joy,” Ed says. “It should be a gift of joy to the listener and to the musician both.” And for that reason, Lenoir Woods’ new baby grand will be a gift that keeps on giving for many years to come.