An Erard piano built in Paris in the 1870s was donated to Cedarville from this abandoned home in Springfield. Both the house and the piano are now restored, prompting the musical celebration to be held March 21.
by Jennifer Hodges, Public Relations Writer
March 17, 2014
An abandoned house in Springfield, Ohio, has become a center of restoration for broken lives and a broken piano. Empty for ten years, the house now belongs to Safe Harbor House
, a ministry for women in crisis. Volunteers restored the building, and Safe Harbor donated the historic French piano it previously housed to Cedarville University
. Now the piano is also restored, and Cedarville will host a musical celebration March 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Dixon Ministry Center Recital Hall to unveil the instrument and honor the ministry of Safe Harbor. The concert, titled “Making All Things New,” is free and open to the public.
John Mortensen, a professor of music, said the connection between Safe Harbor’s ministry to rebuild lives and the restoration of the historic piano calls for mutual celebration. “Having a big party and celebrating all these things together seemed like the obvious thing to do,” Mortensen said. The concert program includes classical, spiritual and jazz music that, according to Mortensen, has power to bring people together and express the sorrow and joy of redemption.
Amy Willmann, executive director for Safe Harbor, said the abandoned house has not been cosmetically renovated, but completely restored — just like the women who now live there. “The house is a concrete reflection of what’s happening in their hearts and their lives,” Willmann said. The restored home, now called the Lighthouse, is directly across the street from Safe Harbor and provides transitional housing for women completing the one-year program.
After the concert, a reception will allow audience members to see the piano up close, ask questions — even play the instrument. Guests can also learn more about Safe Harbor clients’ experience of restoration through original poetry and reflections on display.
Cedarville University, located east of Dayton, Ohio, has 3,459 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 100 areas of study. A Baptist university of arts, sciences, professional and graduate programs, Cedarville is recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu