Miami's Biscayne Bay grand piano mystery is solved

The Miami HeraldJanuary 27, 2011 

Like many grand ideas, this one started out when many were drunk.

And that's how a burned baby grand piano found its way onto a mud flat in Biscayne Bay and, ultimately, worldwide fame.

The solution to the mystery involves a guy with a bagpipe, a rollicking New Year's Eve party and a teenager looking to make a splash on his college admissions. Oh, and flammable liquid applied to a movie prop that was stored in Grandma's garage for four years.

``We were peer-pressured into burning it,'' said 16-year-old Nicholas Harrington, a MAST Academy junior hoping to study art or engineering at Manhattan's Cooper Union college. Neither Nicholas, nor the other teens were drinking.

The saga of the baby grand sitting peacefully atop the highest point of a tiny Biscayne Bay sandbar a few hundred yards east of Miami Shores actually began four years ago. That's when, after being used as a prop in a movie no one seems to remember, it went into storage in the garage of the mother of Burn Notice production designer J. Mark Harrington.

It got dusty, its keys began to stick, the finish didn't shine anymore.

Then Nicholas had an idea: As a promotional video to get into college, he would make a video on the nondescript sandbar using the piano, bagpipes from a neighbor, and a small submersible sub used for studies at MAST. So the family moved the piano the few blocks from Grandma's place to their home.

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