Pat Jones has been playing the piano for a long time—quite literally, a very long time.
That’s because for the last three days, Jones has been sitting at the helm of a Baldwin SD10E concert grand, securing her place in the Guinness World Records by playing it continuously for a record 65 hours, which bested the old mark by one hour. She began her attempt at 11 am (EST) on November 12, and finally went home today.
“I needed an operator to handle all the calls I’ve received about this event,” said Teresa Foster, owner of Teresa’s Piano Gallery, Jacksonville, Fla.’s exclusive Baldwin dealer, and the site of Jones’ record-breaking attempt. “She really wanted to break the record on a Baldwin, and I’ve got the nicest stage, and the nicest Baldwin pianos in town.”
Jones, a longtime north Florida resident, was only allowed a Guinness-approved, five-minute break every hour. Guinness also required that a nurse and timekeeper be present at all times, and required Foster’s store to remain open to the public for the duration of the record attempt.
Jones, 51, said she’s been playing the piano all her life, and even played once for two days straight while recording a gospel record in Nashville several years ago. She said she prepared herself for the world record attempt by working out with weights, squeezing a rubber ball, and with lots of walking during her usual day job of selling used cars at a local Dodge dealership.
“I just felt like I’ve played the piano all my life, and this is the ultimate goal that I’ve set,” Jones told the Florida Times-Union.
Enter Stan Jordan, a current state representative and one of Jones’ elementary school teachers, who also happens to be Jones’ inspiration for learning the piano as a child. Six months ago, she approached him about her desire to take a shot at the world record and he, in turn, helped her organize the event, garnering the support of several sponsors and the use of the Baldwin piano at Teresa’s Piano Gallery.
Now that’s it’s all said and done, Jones has her record, and Foster has one, somewhat used, Baldwin concert grand piano on her hands—but maybe not for long.
“I’ve already had one local church call me about it,” Foster said. “I don’t have a problem selling Baldwin pianos, but I’m sure the fact that the record was broken on this one will help.”