Play Me Piano Inauguration Will Help Fund Students Musical Adventure in Ghana

Students involved in the Play Me Piano Project display the newly painted piano. Courtesy photo

Staff Report

From Santa Fe to West Africa to the rest of the globe, Wanderlust Edventures is dedicated to bringing joy and human connection through music.

This summer, seven students from the Santa Fe area alongside mentor, Melinda Russial, have the opportunity to inaugurate this program and bring this message to Ghana. Through an immersive reciprocal education experience, they will begin their effort of global community building.

A fundraiser for the project, Santa Fe “Play Me Piano Inauguration” will be the first student-led event to support participation in the program through expressing its message to the community. The piano has been donated and will be painted with the West Africa message before being placed at the Sanbusco Shopping Center Friday, Dec. 20.

At noon, Dec. 20 there will be all sorts of live performances including music and dance, by students from the Wanderlust West Africa, New Mexico School for the Arts, and local artists. Then, the piano will be opening to the attending public, to jam their hearts out if they feel so inclined. Finally, at 5 p.m. Dec. 20, a “pianothon” will be held.

Students Mohit Dubey, Max Murphy, and Brass Burapa will create a specialized, improvised performance based on requests. The group has set up a webpage at to collect donations that will determine the course of the pianothon.  For one dollar, add six seconds, for five dollars, add thirty seconds, for ten dollars, add one minute, and so on! You can even request songs, both original and popular. All the funds will go towards funding the trip to West Africa this summer.

Ever since I started attending New Mexico School for the Arts, I have been exploring the downtown area,” Dubey said. “Being from Los Alamos, it was exciting to have an amazing maze of culture to wander through after school as I waited for the bus. Occasionally, I would stumble upon a piano, perhaps in the basement of the La Fonda or below the Walrus and Eggman Gallery, and it was in these places where some of the most genuine musical moments of my life occurred. Last time I checked, both of those hidden pianos had been removed and there was not a single ivory key left within the public’s reach.” 

A friend of Dubey’s donated a piano and the decorated instrument will be unveiled for the first time at the Dec. 20 event. The decorated piano can be integrated into any musical event, spontaneous or planned, Dubey said.