Yamaha Corporation of America Restores Piano Music in Home of Hurricane Harvey Flood Survivor
HOUSTON (December 29, 2017) — A Fort Bend Music Center delivery truck pulled up to a home in a Houston, Texas suburb last week to deliver a very special holiday gift, a brand new piano.
The piano, a Yamaha model P22SE upright, was donated to Aric Harding and his family by Yamaha Corporation of America after executives saw a video in late August of Harding playing his family’s prized instrument in several feet of floodwater following Hurricane Harvey.
His house losing ground to the rising floodwaters, Harding returned to his home to grab favorite stuffed animals and games for his seven children, ages 5 to 14. His son Rylor, an aspiring musician, grew concerned about his family's old Yamaha piano, so Aric decided to play it, even though it was sitting in several feet of water.
"So much was out of our hands", Harding said.
A friend shot a video of Harding at the piano, sitting on the soaked bench with his legs and feet underwater while he played. That video, posted on Instagram, went viral, and became a sign of hope for all who were flooded out during Hurricane Harvey, with the story of the video featured on CNN.
Tom Sumner, senior vice president, Yamaha Corporation of America, had been alerted to the video by Yamaha Artist Vanessa Carlton.
"It was kind of mournful seeing Aric sitting there in the water playing our piano,” he said. “I told him that Yamaha would be honored to provide him with a new one, free of charge, as soon as he was able to receive it."
That day came last week, when Aric and his 14-year-old piano-playing son Rylor were invited to Fort Bend Music Center to pick out the replacement. Harding’s father, a longtime piano technician, went along to help out and by the end of the week the piano was delivered to Harding’s home.
The happy ending story appeared on nearly 200 online news sites, as well as on CNN and ABC "World News Tonight."
"So many blessings have come out of this flood," said Rylor Harding. The piano now proudly sits in the family music room where Rylor and his dad will continue their musical ways.
"Music has always been a part of our family and we have a piece of the family back," Aric Harding said. "Music will fill our home again."