MAKING MUSIC: Cadence Manfield with the new piano donated by Rural Aid.
MAKING MUSIC: Cadence Manfield with the new piano donated by Rural Aid.

Illegal counterfeit pianos making music in Warwick schools

THESE illegal pianos were destined to be used for firewood, but thanks to the quick thinking of some generous minds, they have been given a second life, bringing smiles and music to Southern Downs kids.

When police seized 10 pianos that had been made with counterfeit Australian-made logos, they had two options: destroy them or donate them.

Luckily, for Rural Aid's Wayne Thomson, they knew just the person to talk to.

Mr Thomson, who manages Rural Aid's gifted students program, couldn't quite believe the offer when he first heard it.

"They went 'could you use some pianos?' And we're not going to turn that down," Mr Thomson said.

Last Friday, the charity finally got to donate half of the ten pianos, gifting them to schools in need, including Inglewood Primary School, Warwick West State School, Warwick Central State School, Warwick Christian College and Killarney P - 10 State School.

Warwick Central's instrumental music teacher Bruce Eddiehausen said the donation was a game changer.

"Until now, we had a 100-year-old piano that doesn't work and we've got people here who can play piano but they just can't play that," Mr Eddiehausen said.

"This school has a particularly gifted choir, accompanied by a pianist, so to finally have the choir singing with that is just brilliant.

"We're not just getting this piano for the next five years, these kids' grandchildren will still be listening to this piano."

Mr Eddiehausen said the gift was something the struggling region would never be able to afford on its own.

"At the moment, there's just no money and if we did have some money, we certainly wouldn't be flashing it around on a piano.

"To get a gift of that magnitude in all the schools is amazing."