The William Carlos Williams Center for the Performing Arts in Rutherford is the new home of a historically significant musical instrument--a vintage Melodigrand piano, better known as "the Williams Piano."
The placement of the Williams Piano at the Williams Center provides a symbolic link to the roots of our native poet whose parents in 1892 helped found the Unitarian Church where this piano was played more than eight decades ago by members of the Williams family. Now the piano is a showcase instrument at the Center. It was well-received at a recital there last June 10 and it promises to continue to offer its rich sound for future events such as the October 2007 Williams Center 25th Renaming Anniversary Gala.
The Williams Piano (right)
But the piano is in need of rehabilitation. Manufactured in 1921, its interior instrumentation will require repair and refurbishing. Already donors have stepped forward to help. The money raised to date was used to transport the piano to Rutherford from Philadelphia, have it examined and tuned by an experienced technician, and outfit it with an appropriately sized dust cover.
A second fund raising effort is now underway. This appeal goes out to those who care about a rich tradition that all of Rutherford and its neighbors can help support. Help keep this Williams family legacy alive. Contributions are welcome at the Williams Center for the Performing Arts, One Williams Plaza, Rutherford, NJ, 07070, c/o "Williams Piano."
The Unitarian Church of Rutherford at 70 Home Avenue, founded in 1892 by, among others, WCW's father, Williams George. (painting courtesy of the Meadowlands Museum)