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88 Keys on the Road - Blog

A great piano music resource - the public library!

When the Institute of Management Accountants asked me to be their pianist for their Awards Banquet at the Minneapolis Hilton, they informed me that I would need to play each state song as the award recipients came to the stage to accept their awards. 

I visited the Hennepin County Minneapolis Central Library and found just what I needed -- a book with the sheet music for each state song!

Minneapolis Central Library

Music was an important role in the Awards Banquet. Not only did they have me perform award music and piano dinner music, but they also had the Macalester College Pipe Band lead the procession of guests in to the banquet hall for dinner!

Macalester College Pipe Band
Minnesota Songs

A week earlier I had been hired to play at the Edina Country Club for a private event. The organizer informed me that many of the guests were former University of Minnesota graduates and he knew they would love to hear the U of M Rouser. I knew the chorus but thought there must be more to the song, so I visited the library and found just what I needed in a book, 'Minnesota Songs'.

The 'Minnesota Songs' book turned out to be a hit at the party. During the reception I received a request to play 'Hail Minnesota'. I flipped open the book right to that song. As soon as I started playing, the guests joined in singing with gusto. When I played the U of M Rouser, they really belted it out! The guests were a fun and spontaneous group of people. The book from the library made their event extra fun!


I have found the Minneapolis Central Library to be a great music resource when looking for piano music. The Music Department is on third floor where patrons can find sheet music files, as well as song books, and recorded music. It has a lovely enclosed piano room. Library patrons may reserve the piano for an hour. I LOVE the Hennepin Central Library!! 

For further reading on the music resources and piano room at HCLIB I invite you to read a wonderful post by Christina Endres, 'Library as Incubator'

How has the library influenced your life? Share your story by clicking on the 'Comment' link below.

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Something I hope you'll share with family& friends!

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Learning from the newlyweds

Newlywed brides shared their insights with members of the Central Minnesota Wedding Association.

Central Minnesota Wedding Association hosted the 'Bride Panel'.

Central Minnesota Wedding Association hosted the 'Bride Panel'.

The Crown Room of Rogers was filled with professionals from the Central Minnesota Wedding Association who were eager to hear what the newlyweds had to say about their recent wedding experiences.

Moderator, Adam Welz of Prime Time DJ's, asked the brides the following question.

If there was one thing you could have changed about your wedding, what would it have been?

Here are some of their answers.

  • "I wish I would have hired a videographer."


  • "I wish my photographer would have given me more information ahead of time on determining what photos were to be taken of various family members."

This bride said it would have been helpful if the photographer has posted real photos of various family poses on the web site. In retrospect she realized there were some family members who were not included in photos that she wished had been included.

  • "I wish I had hired a day-of coordinator."

This bride was pretty certain some problems would have been avoided had there been a coordinator overseeing that everything ran smoothly. In particular, the sound tech who was supposed to play recorded music for their Recessional, never played the song. At the end of the ceremony when everyone was clapping and the bride and groom were supposed to exit the ceremony to lively music...they had to walk out in silence. Ouch!

Adam then asked the brides the following question.

Top notch wedding!

Top notch wedding!

What was one thing you absolutely loved about a wedding professional that you hired?

Here are some of their answers.

  • "Hiring two photographers was the best thing I did!"

This couple hired a husband and wife team, both were equally experienced. Some of their favorite photos are from the pre-ceremony activities of getting ready. A huge smile came across this bride's face as she described some of the incredibly fun-loving photos that were captured while the guys were getting ready and the gals too. Having the husband wife team made those photos possible.

  • "The staff at our venue treated us like we were the most important client in the world. Even though this venue had many other clients, they always knew us by name and knew exactly who we were when we called on the phone. They took good care of us all the way through."

This couple did not have the opportunity to see their reception hall ahead of time on the day of their wedding, so when they walked through the door to their reception hall, it took their breath away. Everything was more beautiful and perfect than they had ever imagined!

  • "I knew the exact wedding dress and dress designer that I wanted. As soon as I was engaged, I went out to buy the dress, only to learn that it had been discontinued a month prior. All the shops I went to did not have it.  I called shops all over the state and got the same response....except for one. This small shop decided to help me. She reached out to all her resources and finally found the dress!"

I enjoyed hearing everything the brides had to say but was hoping to hear about their music. As a pianist, I especially wanted to learn their impressions of their wedding music. So I submitted a question asking if they had hired live music for their ceremony or reception.

Live music for the ceremony.

Live music for the ceremony.

Most had live music for their ceremonies and DJ's for their receptions. One bride had a whole family of professional musicians and her music was outstanding. Some of the others found their musicians by word-of-mouth through friends or family. It made me realize just how important the advice of family and friends can be. If someone has had a good experience with a musician, they are usually happy to share their advice. From my point of view, it is a great honor when a couple recommends my piano music to someone they know. Very often the couple that recommended me will be in the wedding party or will be guests at the coming wedding and I have the joy of reconnecting with them!

When the newlyweds were asked, 'What top tip would you give to couples planning their weddings?', their answer was unanimous ...

"On the day of your wedding, ENJOY the day, it goes by so quickly!"

A word about the Central Minnesota Wedding Association.

The Central Minnesota Wedding Association has been a valuable part of my life as a wedding pianist.  The members live by a professional Code of Ethics. We are always striving to learn more about providing the best wedding services possible to couples engaged to be married. Last night's 'Bride Panel' was just such an example. Who better to tell us than the newlyweds themselves!

We LOVE weddings!  Central Minnesota Wedding Association

We LOVE weddings!  Central Minnesota Wedding Association

Let's hear from YOU!  If you are recently married, do you have a story to share or advice to give about planning your wedding?  Just click on the 'comment' link below and we will all benefit from your experiences!


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