Donated piano fills the halls of St. Francis Commons with music

Sharing The Gift Of Music! St. Francis Commons Assisted Living Residence received a Chautauqua upright piano recently, the generous gift of Diana McRae. The piano can be found in the Grand Dining Room and is being enjoyed on a daily basis. Pictured listening to the new addition (left to right) are residents Mary Jane Lacey; and Judy Cornell; with Betty Johnson at the piano; and the piano’s donor Diana McRae.
Sharing The Gift Of Music! St. Francis Commons Assisted Living Residence received a Chautauqua upright piano recently, the generous gift of Diana McRae. The piano can be found in the Grand Dining Room and is being enjoyed on a daily basis. Pictured listening to the new addition (left to right) are residents Mary Jane Lacey; and Judy Cornell; with Betty Johnson at the piano; and the piano’s donor Diana McRae.

Anyone who has visited St. Francis Commons Assisted Living Residence in Oswego recently may have heard the sounds of a new addition coming from the Grand Dining Room.

Thanks to the generosity of Diana McRae, piano music now provides a wonderful backdrop to the dining experience, and adds a welcome chance for any resident musician who wants to keep their playing “in tune.”

McRae donated an upright (Model) piano and since its arrival, it has been a focal point of conversation and serves as a gathering place for friends to share a song and a laugh together.

“Diana’s gift is something that will add to the quality of life here at our residence now and for years to come,” said St. Francis Commons Director Julie Chetney. “The piano is in use on a daily basis and has added another touch of home here at St. Francis.

“Nothing sounds as good as when one of our many resident musicians sits down to play for the entertainment of their neighbors, or just to practice a favorite tune,” Chetney said. “On behalf of everyone here at St. Francis, we extend a sincere thanks to Diana for her generous gift, and we are only too glad to provide a beloved instrument with a new home.”

The piano donated to St. Francis Commons is a rare Chautauqua model, manufactured by the Chautauqua Piano & Organ Co. The firm never built a large volume of instruments, and Chautauqua pianos and organs are exceedingly rare.

The firm went out of business well before the Great Depression era.

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