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Redemption Song

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Photo by Hillary Harvey.
  • Photo by Hillary Harvey.

Altruistic thoughts occur in people frequently, but few are acted upon. Adam Markowitz, owner of Adam’s Piano in Kingston, recently had such a thought—and was determined to see it through. It began with a phone call from the pastor of a church in rural Mississippi. He was searching for an affordable piano in order to bring music to the kids of his community, many displaced by Hurricane Katrina, but he couldn’t afford the shipping.

That same day, Markowitz was listening to Harry Connick Jr.’s new single,All These People,” a song about the forgotten victims of Katrina. When Markowitz learned that all of the profits from this song were being donated to the relief effort, it occurred to him that he might also be able to give something to the cause. He (Connick) may be in a better position to give, but I'd like to do my part,” says Markowitz, who decided to give the pastor a call back.

We’re bringing you a piano,” he told the clergyman. “And we don’t want any money.” Markowitz then realized that one piano didn’t come close to exhausting his capacity to give.

I thought, ‘Why not bring down a whole truckful and distribute them throughout the area?’” He and his dog, Walter, left for Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama in late January with 10 pianos; eight from his own inventory and two from another donor, Forte Piano of Paramus. Like many, Markowitz has been troubled by the government’s underwhelming response to the disaster. “It would seem that private donors have given the most visible help to the relief effort,” he says. Markowitz would like the trip to become an annual event that includes piano donations from private parties. (845) 331-1300; www.adamspiano.com.

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