The Daily Gamecock

'Why not?': Childhood friends leave piano in Assembly Street tunnel

<p>Collin Woods, a first-year computer science student at Clemson, poses on top of the piano. The trio placed it there on Dec. 20.</p>

Collin Woods, a first-year computer science student at Clemson, poses on top of the piano. The trio placed it there on Dec. 20.

A group of childhood friends came together on Dec. 20 to make a deposit in the graffiti-covered tunnel that leads to the Carolina Coliseum.

The deposit, brought to campus by a USC student, a Clemson student and a Midlands Tech student, is a piano that anyone can play.

“There wasn’t really a point," Corbin Elrod, a first-year mechatronics student at Midlands Tech, said. "It was just because we could. Why not?”

Elrod asked his friends, Adam Graybill, a first-year business student at USC, and Collin Woods, a first-year computer science student at Clemson, to join in on the idea. All three of the friends went to middle school and high school together.

“Corbin just approached me on a discord call two nights before it happened, because he was going to come stay the night over at my apartment," Graybill said. "He was like, ‘Yo, what if we just took a free piano off of Craigslist or something from the area and stuck it in that tunnel over by where you live?” 

Elrod was able to get the piano for free off of Craigslist. He said he was mostly curious about what it would sound like. According to Graybill, the piano is about 100 years old. 

Courtesy of Adam Graybill

It took about five hours to pick up the piano from the Craigslist seller, get the piano into Elrod’s truck, drive it over to a parking lot near the Wendy’s on Assembly and push it across the street into the tunnel.

They placed the piano on a set of castors, which slid off frequently as the friends tried to push the piano across Assembly Street, Graybill said. 

“We had Collin running around and hitting the buttons for the crosswalk. And we’d wait for the crosswalk light to light up. And then we would scream, 'Go, go, go,'” Graybill said.

While they were getting the piano across the street— at the same as the Koger Center was showing a Nutcracker performance— a police officer drove by and looked at them like they were crazy, Graybill said.

"All these people were filing into the building while we were doing all of this, and all these people were dressed up for this event, looking over at us like, ‘What?' They were so genuinely confused,” Elrod said. 

After Graybill posted a photo of the piano in the tunnel on Reddit, the group’s adventure got a lot of attention on the Gamecock’s subreddit and Columbia’s subreddit. 

“[On] the Columbia’s subreddit, there’s been a bunch of people posting pictures of them going to see the piano or videos of them playing the piano,” Graybill said.

One Reddit user, harveylaw, said they usually run through the tunnel often, and said that they'd check it out and their next run.

"Thanks for giving me something to look forward to on my run," harveylaw said in the post.

Woods, the Clemson student, said the response on social media surprised him because “we just make stuff to make it, and just have fun doing it.”