Late-night custodian Kedrone Williams has been saying it for years, but no one listened until yesterday. Philadelphia’s famed Wanamaker organ, housed in the Center City Macy’s, plays daily concerts for shoppers. A signature tourist experience is now a true spectacle after the “organist”, thought to be professional keyboardist Peter Richard Conte, was revealed to just be mice.
Confirmed by Macy’s General Manager Tim Widener after several shoppers made the revelation last weekend, the organ was in fact being played by no fewer than 14 mice. When asked if he would be seeking an exterminator and/or human replacement, Widener said he has no plans to make a change. “This is the most anyone’s cared about this organ in years.” Conte could not be reached for comment on his squeaky substitutes.
Several long-time audience members have noticed changes to the organ repertoire in past weeks. Liza Duncan noted that she, “used to hear more church hymns, Handel, Haydn, that sort of thing. Now it’s more showtune-type, Broadway stuff…”, insinuating that these are indeed city mice.
Will these musical mice continue their routine recitals? No one knows for sure, but while they can, Philadelphians should consider a trip to Macy’s to witness this miracle. Says custodian Williams, “it’s something alright, watching those tiny mouse bodies slam into the keys…looks painful but they just keep at it until the end when they pass out. I always think they dead but they ain’t.”