One church that lost its building in the April 27 tornado is singing again, thanks to a borrowed piano.

Richard Deutsch, owner of Piano Kraft in Little Rock, joined forces with Yamaha Corporation of America to provide $36,000 worth of Clavinova digital pianos on loan for a year to churches and schools in the tornado-ravaged areas of Mayflower and Vilonia.

The Lifeline Church building in Mayflower was destroyed by the storm, and the church’s 125 members have been meeting at the Mayflower High School cafetorium for the past two weeks. The church is using a piano on loan from Piano Kraft and Yamaha, free of charge, for a year.

Pastor Walt Hollis said, "It meant a lot. Any time you lose everything, anything anyone can do is great. We didn’t have hardly anything left from the storm. We were digging out pieces of instruments, and we didn’t know if they would work."

Deutsch said, "The devastation to person and property in our region is unbelievable, with churches, schools and many homes simply demolished. When there are losses like this, people go to church to pray, and music is a huge support mechanism, since it fills people up and makes them feel better. If these people have been uprooted to a hotel room or school cafeteria, we want to put a piano in there for their use, to help with their morale and healing."

Deutsch is reaching out to public institutions to identify good places for more of the digital pianos.

"The whole idea was to get pianos into public places so people could go practice every day. We’re looking for schools or libraries — if there’s a bookstore that may have an extra office, we’ll put one in there. The idea is to make sure families can take their kids to practice. Kids are being put in hotels or wherever while their house is being rebuilt. They need to get back to normalcy."

For more information, or to suggest locations for piano placement, contact Deutsch at

(Staff writer Rachel Parker Dickerson can be reached by email at or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to Send us your news at