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The Aycock Family Piano!

Brigham Larson Pianos

My name is Joleen, and my husband David and I have two sweet daughters, Kahlia our 6yr old and Jaina our 10month old. We are a very close knit family and love spending time together just hanging out, playing with our standard poodle Zoey, playing music, hiking, having picnics, or just enjoying a movie together. David and I met and fell in love in 2008 in Northern California and were married just over a year later. We’re that couple that still holds hands, that everyone else thinks we’re still newlyweds even though we’ve been married for almost 15 years and we love that! We currently live in Lewiston, Idaho and have been here for the past 6 years. We are serving as Corps Officers in The Salvation Army which really means pastors and administrators overseeing the work of The Salvation Army in our area. In our position we are moved to other parts of the Western United States when there is a need for us to go and serve and minister in a new community. We absolutely love this ministry, we get to be the boots on the ground ministry, meeting people where they are at, making them feel seen and loved and helping them to get back on their feet.
Our piano is a 1890’s Peek & Sons Opera Grand Piano. It’s been in my family since I was 12 years old. My mom had always wanted to learn to play and when she started looking for a piano, she found this one and fell in love with it. We had never seen a piano so beautiful and ornate and the sound was amazing. When they picked it up it was about 45min away but down a very steep, narrow and windy road down into a river canyon. They managed to get it up a bunch of stairs and out do the house it was in, put it in my dad’s little trailer and brought it to our house (dirt road and all). This piano was amazing right from the start. We lived in a double wide trailer and the piano literally shook the house when it was played because it was so powerful. My dad worked nights and tried to sleep during the day so my mom covered carpet padding with red fabric and put them behind the cut out sections to try to dampen it a bit. I believe that it was the beauty and the power of this piano that inspired me to learn. Before it came home I didn’t have any inkling to play the piano. Once my mom started taking lessons I would go behind her and sit down and play by ear what she was learning to play and I fell in love with piano. After a while I started cleaning my mom’s piano teachers house every week to earn my lessons. I played nearly all day every day, any time I possibly could have my hands on this piano I did. I remember decorating the top of the piano beautifully for Christmas, nearly letting it fall on its face when just me and my mom tried to inch it over a bit. I remember waking my dad up too many times when I was playing, and driving the whole house nuts playing Turkish March and Gypsy Rondo over and over. I remember the piano being my solace, the place I would go when I was upset and needed my heart and soul to be refreshed. I played worship music, hymns and christian piano solos and connected to God while I was playing. I wrote my first songs at this piano. After a few years my piano playing had progressed really far and we were having more and more trouble keeping the piano in tune. The pins were loose and things were just breaking down somewhat. Much to my dismay and even with my immense protesting, my parents decided to give this piano to friends of ours who had two younger kids who wanted to learn piano, and they bought a small Kimball upright for me to play. It kept a tune, but it didn’t sound or play anything like my piano. A number of years past and I got married, I took the Kimball piano with me, but on the phone with my mom one day she mentioned in passing that our friends were going to get rid of my piano. I told her, “Yes they are! To me and me only! I want it back!” She called them super quickly to make sure that they hadn’t already given it to someone else, and thankfully they hadn’t, so I was able to rescue it and bring it back to where it belonged. Getting it back, the pins were even looser now, some of the keys had started to stick and really it wasn’t playable. I just knew though that I would keep that piano with me until I could get it fixed, no matter how long that took. There were two moves in there where we had to move two pianos, really testing how much my friends liked me! And then finally when my husband and I joined The Salvation Army, I decided to only keep my big heirloom piano because it was too much to move two pianos and usually the places we went had pianos at the churches I could play. Since joining The Salvation Army we have moved our piano 4 times, worth it every time. As it is now, it pretty much is a beautiful furniture piece and conversation piece. I tell everyone “This piano means so much to me, I will keep it with me and keep moving it when we move even until retirement when I can actually afford to restore it.” And while that’s entirely true, deep down I’m always trying to figure out how I can afford to restore it sooner. When I had my daughters that desire became even stronger because I would absolutely love to be able to teach them to play on my childhood piano. I would love for this to continue to be an heirloom in our family. I would love for this beautiful piano to also be able to make beautiful music again. That’s when I was notified of your contest and it just seems like a once in a lifetime opportunity and it would be an amazing blessing and gift that I can hardly put into words.

  • YEAR 1800-1900
  • MAKE Corps Officers in The Salvation Army Want to Restore Their Treasured Family Piano & Hear it Make Beautiful Music For Generations to Come!
  • FINISH Black / Ebony
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