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The Lyons Family Piano!

Brigham Larson Pianos

My name is Melissa Lyons and I want to tell you a story about love, and a piano. This love story began for two ordinary people, Evan Terry and Joan Call while attending college at Brigham Young University. While America battled with the uncertainty and fear of war, my grandmother and grandfather fell in love. They were married on June 8, 1942 right before Evan was sent to war. Love letters, time and space separated them, but as soon as Evan’s service was complete, he came home to his young bride to start their lives together. In 1947 he purchased a towering red-brick, historic Queen Ann home in downtown Salt Lake City. With that purchase came lots of antique furniture, as well as the focal point of what used to be a ballroom, the piano. No one knows the origin story of the piano, but like all great love stories, it’s not the beginning, but everything after, that makes is truly romantic. Evan and Joan had four children; Evan Jr, Linda, Paul and Richard. And they raised those children and lived the rest of their lives, including 71 years of marriage, in that same towering red-brick home with the piano that stood at the center of it all. The piano was used throughout the years for lessons. Not only for their children, but for their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. My memories are full of the joy that piano brought. From Christmas nativities, Thanksgivings, Easters and recitals, there was all manner of music. Our family loved music and being together, and every single Sunday we would gather around their warm love, and that welcoming piano. Evan and Joan both lived almost 100 beautiful years, and passed away not long after each other. Every item in their home was given to the people who loved them most. But no one was in a position to take the piano. It meant so much to me, and I wanted to keep it in the family, so I held onto it until my father, their youngest son Richard, could renovate his house, designating a special place for it. He wanted to continue the legacy of music with his bride, their children and grandchildren. The piano is getting older and older and is in desperate need of renovation. I Looked into getting it done, as a surprise for my father, but the expensive left it out of reach. Then I heard about this wonderful opportunity and thought I would try my luck at giving this piano, and my grandparents love story, a happy ending. But in fact, if we win this contest, it wouldn’t be an end, but another wonderful beginning benefitting Evan and Joan’s four children, their spouses, 15 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren who are deeply connected to the love and life of this family piano.
In 1903 when the famous “Gold Steinway” piano was presented to the White House for Theodore Steinway’s 50th Anniversary, a not-so-famous Kimball piano was born in the city of Chicago. That piano may not have been as notorious as the “Gold Steinway” but its life to us was priceless. Our Kimball piano, with its warm dark wood and real ivory keys, slowly made its thousand-mile journey to Salt Lake City, Utah where it was purchased and placed into a beautiful red brick Queen Ann mansion. My grandparents brought that mansion in 1947, and with it came our beloved piano. At that time the piano was only 44 years old, but we straight away put it to good use. We have a very close-knit family that gets together often to share our deep love of music and each other. And this piano was at the center of it all. My name is Melissa Lyons. I am the granddaughter of Evan and Joan Terry who owed the Queen Ann mansion and this very love Kimball piano. I cannot imagine my life without it. It has been in my life for my whole life, and the memories and inspiration from it are endless. I remember watching my older cousins learning how to play and couldn't wait until it was my turn. When I started taking piano lessons, I would walk down to my Grandparents home to practice. My grandma would always encourage me to practice well. I remember gathering around the piano on regular Sunday nights with my family, feeling such love while singing songs together or listening to the piano being played while us young kids would stoke the fire in the fireplace. My cousin would play The Entertainer and my sisters and I would dance around the living room. We would take turns playing the Heart and Soul duet and see who could play the best different variations of both parts. Holidays were filled with all kinds of music surrounding the piano. My father and cousins played the violin, my mother the guitar, and there was an old pump organ we took turns trying our hands at. Occasionally we pulled out my grandpa's old military trumpet whose off-key tones were sure to bring the laughs! I also have small memories of the piano unrelated to music. My Grandma had a little white ceramic nativity she would put on top of the piano every Christmas. It was a family joke that my dad would change out the baby Jesus with a toy troll to see how long it would take his mother to realize, get mad, and change it back to the baby Jesus, just before he could do it all over again. For an astounding 77 years this Kimball piano, built by the great William Wallace Kimball Company, has been thoroughly loved by all our family and it would be our dream to be able to continue the legacy of music our Grandparents instilled in us through this piano, for many years to come. This is where you can help. Our piano is falling into disrepair because of age and use, despite our best efforts to keep it tuned, polished and fixed. It needs a full renovation. We would so love the opportunity to be chosen for this renovation so we could continue to create new memories and inspire the love of music in our children, and children to come, with this very loved, 77 year old Kimball family piano.

  • YEAR 1900-1910
  • MAKE Beloved 1903 Piano Echoes 77 Years of Family Joy!
  • SERIAL NUMBER 131663 year 1903 or 1904
  • FINISH Maybe Cherry or Mahogany, I'm not exactly sure. Refer to the pictures.
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