Yamaha and musician Vanessa Carlton went the extra “Thousand Miles” to replace a piano that was damaged by flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.
In a CNN interview on Sept. 1, the Grammy-nominated Yamaha Artist recounted how she had cried when she saw a viral video of Houston evacuee Aric Harding, who had returned to his flooded home to grab favorite stuffed animals and games for his seven children, ages 5 to 13. During the visit, he found his family’s Yamaha piano knee deep in flood water, which was of particular concern to one of his sons, an aspiring piano player. Harding sat down and began to play, documenting the performance in a video he posted on Instagram.
“I think it’s all finally sinking in a little,” Harding wrote in the Instagram caption. “What we used to have going as a city is gone. I really think God is going to do something completely new here. I am excited to see the new beauty in the suffering.”
The video caught the attention of CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who asked Harding if he thought he would play the piano when he returned to his home. “We we’re literally going to get some stuff, I’ll just show my son that it’s working. It worked, and I posted a piece of that video…this kind of struck a chord with people all over the place.”
One of those people deeply moved by the video was Carlton, who sent a tweet to CNN: “This story is so important. Is there a way I can get his contact info? I’d like to get him a replacement piano if this one doesn’t make it.”
CNN introduced Carlton to Harding, and in a follow-up interview with Cooper, Carlton announced that “Yamaha agreed to replace the piano for him, so that’s amazing.”
“We were all very touched by Aric’s video, and when I spoke with him on the phone, I told him that Yamaha is very happy to replace his piano,” said Tom Sumner, senior vice president, Yamaha Corp. of America.