Downtown stores to stay open late for end of “Come Tickle Our Ivories”

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 19, 2016

By Amanda Raymond

SALISBURY — Downtown stores are staying open late to bid farewell to “Come Tickle our Ivories.”

Middle schools all over the county decorated pianos for the Salisbury Symphony’s public art project. The pianos have been at different downtown locations since May, and now it is time to take them away.

Downtown will celebrate the pianos’ farewell on Sept. 23 from 5 to 9 p.m.

Many downtown stores have agreed to stay open late just for the event, and there will be different vendors and activities for people to enjoy, according to Katelin Rice, promotions coordinator for Downtown Salisbury, Inc.

Along with giving people the opportunity to interact and make music together, the pianos also served as a fundraiser for the symphony’s youth music education programs and the schools’ art departments.

Mary Miller James, organizer of the program, has gathered some pianists to serenade the event.

The last chance to play and admire the pianos will be Sept. 30.

James said she is offering the pianos back to the schools that decorated them and will find another place for them if the schools do not want them back.

As this year’s program is wrapping up, James is already preparing for next year.

Jackson Piano Company from Kernersville worked Wednesday to gather pianos and deliver them to the schools. One piano was designated for street artist Joe Heilig and will go under the clock at the Square. The piano will be kept outside of Salisbury Square Antiques for Heilig to decorate.

The new batch of decorators that includes seven new schools has already been chosen for the third year of the program.

Decorating locations for the third annual event:

  • Catawba College
  • Livingstone College
  • Hood Theological Seminary
  • Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
  • North Hills Christian School
  • Rockwell Christian School
  • Creative Teaching Aids (the Rowan County Home School Association is using the space)
  • Salisbury Square Antiques & Collectibles (Joe Heilig using the space)

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.