By Alyson Queen –
Ken Lauzon, 71, settles into a Schubert Sonata at his Wellington Street store like they’ve been best friends for years, but he lingers a little more frequently at a particular keyboard these days.
Ken recently welcomed the delivery of a 9-foot, Seiler concert grand piano. He’s been waiting two years for it to be built in Germany and make its way to Ottawa.
“We get calls all the time for concert usage and we didn’t have one. I had to get one. We thought it would never arrive!” says Ken. “Now when someone needs a concert rental, it’s available, and we’re going to send it out.”
For those who know music and pianos in particular, Seiler is an expertly made instrument with generations of German craftsmanship underneath the gleaming finish. They make only 60 pianos per year and this stretch-limo version is the only of its kind in all of Canada. In fact, it’s already booked for the Music and Beyond Festival.
If you’re looking to buy one, it is for sale, although perhaps a bit hefty for the average Christmas wish list. The price tag is $278,000.
But what’s enlightening is that, even with such a rare and valuable instrument in his store, Ken doesn’t want to keep it protected and reserved for only special purposes. He wants residents to know that anyone can come enjoy it first-hand.
“Anybody can come in and play it. Some stores have signs on their instruments saying ‘do not touch.’ We should have signs on everything that say ‘please touch.’
“Sometimes you get a young kid in here and they say ‘is it ok to play this?’ Then their parents point to the upright. I’ll point to the grand piano and their eyes light up.”
Lauzon Music has been open since 1945 and is a vibrant hub for music and artistry. “We have over 200 students taking lessons in piano, guitar, mandolin, banjo and ukulele,” says Ken. “We have people 78 years old taking lessons for the first time in their life and then kids starting at 4 or 5 years old.”
To say that Ken is a bit of a kid in a candy shop right now is an understatement.
“I want people to know it’s here because it’s just incredible,” says Ken.
After all, as Ken wisely reflects when it comes to music: “It’s not how good you play, it’s how you feel when you play.”