7 In Your Neighborhood: Music in Homewood

June 23, 2012 (HOMEWOOD, Ill.)

The sound of music wafts through the air here.

And whether it's created by the tiniest fingers or by a set that has long reached maturity, the effect is the same.

"It gets a lot of the community and others who live around that come and visit Homewood, an opportunity to sit down and play or listen to others play," said Bob Lucas, a Homewood resident of 61 years. "It's a fun activity."

The project is called "Pop Uprights to Play." Donated pianos are painted by local artists and then set outside shops and restaurants in the village's business district. Residents are invited to tickle the ivories wherever they pop up.

"We are going to place (it) on our Homewood Facebook page telling people where they can find the pianos," said the village's special events coordinator, Allisa Opyd. "We will not only have the pianos in our business district but we are going to take them to the parks where we have our concerts in the park series as well and encourage people to come up and play."

Residents agree the project helps build community. For Eddie Rhodes, who resides at an assisted living facility, it's a chance to show off his artistic ability. It's his artwork that adorns the pianos.

"I have created a lot of drawings on paper and the only thing I do is put it on a piano," Rhodes said. "It's very simple for me."

Shop owners hope the project will help boost business.

"(It's) a lot of fun to see the community come out and sit in front of the stores and play their music and maybe even recognize a store that they haven't been in a while and frequent the shops around town," said Pamela Dennis, owner of Bella Vita Home Accents.

And for residents with both talent and skill, it encourages a little bit of showmanship.

"Well I became excited because this gave me a chance to shine and share my talent with everybody else," said Ginger Washington, 15.

The "Pop Uprights to Play" project will run through the summer and culminate during Homewood's annual fall fest in September.

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