By Henry Paul
Everyone remembers the chaos of their first few weeks at Columbia. For me, it mostly revolved around the grand piano that lived in the John Jay lounge. The piano was a prime source of bonding; it kindled conversations among musicians and non-musicians alike. Anyone was welcome around the piano, and everyone who sat down to play had a different story to tell through their music. During these first few weeks, the John Jay lounge saw countless jazz jam sessions, impromptu classical performances, and rehearsals. Thanks to its accessibility and visibility, the John Jay piano was a forum for practice, musical expression, and cross-pollination. It allowed for the formation of a welcoming first-year music culture within the first few weeks of our time at Columbia. However, the John Jay piano was short-lived, and the story of its disappearance is a testament to Columbia’s lack of commitment to its student artists....