Hospitality House seeks pianists for in-house mini-concerts |

Hospitality House seeks pianists for in-house mini-concerts

Paul Perry Co-founder of the Music in the Mountain playing the piano, at Utah Place in April at the piano dedication.
Submitted by Tom Durkin |

Judy Olsen donated a piano to Hospitality House back in April. At that time, there was a dedication ceremony involving prominent local musicians, and a few residents have played it. But this particular piano is special to Olsen, and she hopes to see it played more often.

It originally belonged to Olsen’s mother, Ethel Forsberg. Ethel bought it in the 1930s, and her daughter still has the sales slip.

“I would come home in high school and say I’d heard a tune, and she’d tell me to hum it,” Olson said. “And within 10 minutes she’d be playing the melody.

“I don’t think she ever took a lesson,” Olsen said. “She could just play, and it meant so much to her.”

Besides the Grass Valley pool, the only other public pool in western Nevada County is in Nevada City, which is closed in the winter, and at the two high schools, Nevada Union and Bear River, both of which have only limited community access.

Olson doesn’t play — but she kept the piano anyway. It was special to her, and it had been very special to her mother.

After moving into a smaller house, Olsen had to find another home for it. That’s when her son suggested donating it to Hospitality House. They made some phone calls, refinished the wood and got it tuned before handing it over.

“I think Grandma would be very pleased if she knew that her piano was in such a great place,” Olsen said.

The staff at Hospitality House are pleased to have it, as well.

“It’s a lovely piano,” said Joanna Robinson, development director at Hospitality House.

“People have played it, and some of our guests have played it, but we’re looking for the public to come in and give brief little concerts between 5 and 5:30 p.m., any day they like,” Robinson added.

In addition to the non-profit’s food and housing programs, they also offer life-skills classes and life-enrichment activities — like music.

“It’s a way of enriching peoples lives, connecting the greater community to them, and having us all enjoy the beauty of music together,” Robinson added.

For more information, contact Robinson at 530-615-0852 or joanna@hhshelter. org.

To contact staff writer Dave Brooksher, send emails to or call 530-477-4230.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User