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Pop-up piano installed by local charity gets toes tapping at Inverness Airport

Pop-up piano in Inverness airport.
Pop-up piano in Inverness airport.

The sweet sound of music can now be heard through the departures lounge at Inverness Airport with the installation of a pop-up piano.

The piano is part of an initiative by the Liam Colgan Music Fund, which was set up in memory of a local musician who tragically died in 2018.

Throughout the festive season, a host of pianists from across the region will play for those flying from the airport. The public will also be able to play themselves during play and donate sessions.

The piano was donated and installed by Loch Ness Pianos. Roger Niven, a trustee of the Liam Colgan Music Fund, hopes the new initiative will encourage people to donate.

“We thought it would be a great idea to put a public piano in the airport to promote the Fund and encourage donations,” he said.

“Loch Ness Pianos have kindly provided and installed the piano in the departure lounge for us and we want people of all ages who can play to get up and entertain their fellow passengers while they’re waiting.”

A big thank you to Kenna Ross who performed on the 'pop-up' piano in aid of LCMF at Inverness airport this morning! 👍🎶🌲Thank you to Loch Ness Pianos for supplying the piano!http://www.lochnesspianos.co.uk/

Posted by Liam Colgan Music Fund on Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Supporting young musicians

Since starting in October 2020, the Liam Colgan Music Fund has supported young musicians across the Highlands.

Mr Niven said: “The fund was set up in memory of Liam, a young musician and song writer based in Inverness and who tragically died in 2018. The fund is dedicated to helping aspiring young Highland musicians and others keen on pursuing ambitions in the music and creative industries.”

To do this, it provides internships and work experience placements for students as well as running a series of workshops for young songwriters.

The fund has also helped establish two awards for music graduates at the University of the Highlands and Islands, and is currently running a Young Musician 2021 and Young Songwriter 2021 Awards.

‘Combine the joy of live music with raising funds’

Having a piano in the airport has proven to bring joy to passengers in previous years, so the team were eager to get on board with the fund’s initiative.

Graeme Bell, Inverness airport general manager, said this year’s piano has already been a success.

He said: “For a number of years we’ve arranged for a pianist in our arrivals and departure area at Christmas, and it’s always been a highlight for our passengers – and our staff.

“When we were approached by the Liam Colgan Music Fund this year, we took the opportunity to combine the joy of live music with raising funds and awareness for this important local charity.

“We have had some fantastic playing already this week and look forward to a lot more!”

To ensure the piano is Covid safe given the rise of the Omicron variant, wipes will be provided for players to sanitise the piano and stool and distancing measures are in place.

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