A Free Musical Garden in Palm Harbor

Palm Harbor Library’s Outdoor Musical Garden Officially Opens


Library staff gathered outside the entrance to the Palm Harbor Library on April 28 for a special event – the ribbon cutting on their brand-new outdoor musical garden.

Their shirts matched the bright yellow grand opening banner. Library director Gene Coppola hovered around a matching yellow ribbon with an oversized pair of scissors. The color of the scissor’s handles – yellow, of course.

“Today, we’re unveiling a new service to the library,” Coppola announced. “It’s a way of commemorating two people who gave so much of their lives and their time to the library.”

Coppola’s speaking of Dorothy and Frank Greenstreet.

“Through the estate of Dorothy and Frank Greenstreet, we were able to purchase all these musical instruments, which in total, came out to about $21,000.”

The Bell Lyre, free for anyone to play, visible to drivers passing by the Library, and wheelchair accessible

The library now has six outdoor musical instruments, all manufactured by UK-based company Percussion Play. Coppola read about the company in an issue of American Libraries Magazine last year.

The 2022 article, “The Beat Goes On” describes the success of these outdoor music gardens at libraries in Ohio, Minnesota and California.

“Why not here?” Coppola asked himself before looking up the price.

Rainbow Bongos – like all the instruments in the Library’s Musical Garden, built to withstand a hurricane

Percussion Play makes more than a dozen outdoor percussion instruments. Many of them look like metal sculptures which happen to double as musical instruments. They include coronation congas, cattail chimes, mushroom-shaped liberty bells, musical stepping stones and rainbow chimes.

The multi-toned Sunflower Drum

The Palm Harbor Library has a bell lyre, a cyclone rainmaker, harmony flowers, a sunflower drum and rainbow bongos. Coppola hopes to get a floor piano like the one in the movie Big if another private donor steps forward.

The rainbow xylophone, with its color-coded sheet music, is bound to become everyone’s favorite instrument at Palm Harbor Library’s new musical garden

“My personal favorite is the xylophone with the musical book,” Coppola said at the ribbon cutting. “It’s really, really great, and it’s for anybody to use.

“And, hopefully, in time, if there is another wonderful patron out there, maybe someone else will help us to further extend this musical endeavor – but it’s already out there for anyone to use at any time.”

The Cyclone Rainmaker evokes the sound of welcome rain


photo by Jennifer Ring

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