Playing Piano at Mayfair Mall

Patrick Byrne, Piano, Mayfair Mall

Pat Byrne performed at Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, for years.

Playing Piano at Mayfair Mall

Having played the piano at Mayfair Mall for years, I — along with the four other pianist at Mayfair Mall — was shocked and saddened to receive a cursory email on Friday, April 25, 2014 telling me that — for corporate budget reasons — live piano music at Mayfair Mall was being suspended effective April 27, 2014.

I absolutely loved playing piano at Mayfair Mall. Actually, I LOVE playing the piano anywhere! But playing the piano at Mayfair Mall was a unique experience and special opportunity to entertain people as they lunched or caught a quick bite in the Food Court.

Since the shoppers at Mayfair Mall were as varied as you can imagine, the music that I played at Mayfair Mall ranged from standards from Gershwin and the American Songbook to the latest hits among Middle Schoolers. How many times I played “Let it Go” from Frozen!

From day to day — I played lunches on Mondays and Thursdays — I never knew what to expect when I sat down at the piano. During the Holiday Season Mayfair Mall is filled with shoppers. But most of the year it was fairly quiet during lunch unless a field trip of hungry middle-school or high-school students arrived.

When colleges and universities were on break, the number of shoppers picked up and so did the tempo of the music with young people asking for a more contemporary sound.

And then, mostly during the summer, there were the interesting tourists from all over Wisconsin and the Midwest and, on occasion, from around the world: Mexico, China, Germany, etc.

I had a lot of fun playing piano at Mayfair Mall. In the late 1980s when my wife and I were considering moving to the Milwaukee area, we had lunch at the Mayfair Mall Food Court and we were delighted to hear live piano music. It was a very nice experience and it helped convince us to relocate our family here.

As we ate and listened to the piano player, I thought to myself:  “Maybe, I’ll have a chance to do that some day.”

I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity to play at Mayfair Mall. I hope that a way is found for this great long-held musical tradition to return to Mayfair Mall.

Pat Byrne

A nice article about the abrupt end of live piano music at Mayfair Mall and featuring another one of their fine pianist — Paul Bahr —  was posted on the Wauwatosa Now web site on May 6. 2014.

I was interviewed in my home on May 7, 2014 by Todd Hicks of TMJ 4 for a report that was part of today’s 6:00 p.m news. The report has also been posted on their web site.