- Associated Press - Saturday, May 17, 2014

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - Painted pianos positioned in public places around Mason City are just waiting for someone to play them.

The four donated pianos were decorated by 20 high school juniors as part of a project they called Tunes for the Town. The project was unveiled Friday.

The pianos are part of a community impact project for students who are members of YIELD: Youth Investing Energy in Leadership Development, the Mason City Globe Gazette reported (http://bit.ly/1jU3Bee ) .

The pianos were donated by local citizens. One is located at The Music Man Square, the only piano to be indoors. Others are in the downtown Plaza, Central Park and near the new KCMR radio studio.

Assisted by the Mason City Chamber of Commerce, the students checked city ordinances and obtained encroachment permits, piano dollies, covers, locks and paint. Staff members from local businesses and the city will be responsible for locking the pianos at night and covering them with heavy vinyl rain covers.

Pianos will be stored indoors in winter.

The students divided into groups and painted the pianos so that each one is unique.

“I think, given our musical heritage, it’s sort of a natural,” Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Robin Anderson said. “And what a fun thing!”

The city is the birthplace of Meredith Willson, composer of “The Music Man,” a hit Broadway musical that was later made into a movie.