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Donation to Charity Lets Fans ''Play'' With EJ

Wednesday 1 March 2006 @ 16:17 - GMT

A bright red Yamaha Disklavier identical to the one Elton plays during his Red Piano show performances at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas will soon be on display in Bettendorf, Iowa, thanks to an arrangement with Foster Family Music Center, the Quad-City Times has announced.

In addition, music-lovers can make an appointment to play the instrument and have their photo taken for a $5 donation to the Make-a-Wish Foundation

The Mark IV Disklavier looks like a grand piano that is 6 feet, 11 inches long. It is a hybrid acoustic/digital piano that offers a range of interactive capabilities. The model at Fosters is signed by Elton and contains several of his actual recordings, including Your Song, Rocket Man and Candle in the Wind. Therefore, anyone playing the piano can actually play along with the famed musician, said Jim Foster of the music center, 2967 State Street.

Here is the pianos schedule at Fosters:

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 7-8, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 10 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 11.

Besides Bettendorf, the piano will be at the Quad-City Botanical Center, 2525 4th Ave., Rock Island, Illinois, 7-9 p.m. March 9.

To make an appointment to play, call Christi Foster at (563) 355-0647.

Its going to be fun, she said. We are constantly trying to find ways to keep piano players playing, especially young kids. Hopefully it is going to catch their attention so they will continue with their piano studies. Theres something about Elton John that says cool.

Yamaha is making no more than 50 of the Limited-Edition Signature Series Red Pianos, and several are touring the country at selected Yamaha dealers. It may be purchased for $80,000.