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Winter Park / Live Music: Musician brings life to old upright piano

by Cyndi PalmerSky-Hi Daily News

The smooth sounds of The Uprights’ Joan Shaw on piano will fill the background for a delightful evening at the Dezeley’s restaurant at Gasthaus Eichler in Winter Park this weekend. Performances are scheduled 6 to 9 p.m. both Friday and Sunday.We try to keep classical music and show tunes alive in the county, Shaw said, adding that the Uprights thoroughly enjoy providing background classical, pops, ragtime, waltzes and requests for the patrons of Gasthaus Eichler restaurant … on the old upright piano.Shaw’s musical passion was set ablaze at the age of five and since then she has mastered the piano and has also studied the violin. She enjoyed years of ensemble, playing often with her boyfriend Roger who later became her husband, and the two have been making music together for more than 50 years.She is also active in the community as the coordinator of the 10th annual Mountain Messiah Song session, bringing the musicians together this year for a Dec. 27 performance event. Along with her other many accomplishments, Shaw has published several books on music and is working on another book with her husband about their unusual experiences as mountain musicians – set for release early next year.While performing at the Gasthaus, Shaw said she plays whatever strikes her that evening as being right for the moment.That old upright piano has a lot of life and fun inside it just waiting to come out, she said.All of the tips she earns while playing are donated for children’s music scholarships. I can’t think of a better way to encourage kids and their parents to begin lessons at an early age than to share my love of music with financial backing, she said.Shaw said the owners of the Gasthaus Eichler Inn and Restaurant, Rene and Joan Weder, are also very gracious and supportive of good music; and the feeling is mutual. The ambiance that they’ve added to the restaurant is fabulous, said Joan Weder, Gasthaus co-owner with her husband Rene.Other ladies who help add to the restaurant’s ambiance as part of The Uprights with Shaw are Traci Maddox, Ella Knight, Kathy Turnbull, Jan Sears and Carolyn May. Favorites of the group include songs by Andrew Lloyd Weber, Scott Joplin, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Brahms and Mozart. The Uprights encourage anyone interested to join their Grand Piano Club which meets on a monthly basis. To join, call Turnbull at (970) 887-3789.The Gasthaus Eichler is located at 78786 U.S. Highway 40 in Winter Park overlooking Vasquez Creek. During the winter season the restaurants serve dinner 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.


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