Community News East Ridge student grows college fund through tips from piano playing all over Chattanooga

Community News East Ridge student grows college fund through tips from piano playing all over Chattanooga

May 16th, 2018 by Emily Crisman in Community East Hamilton
Chance Baggett performs on the Walnut Street Bridge at the end of April. (Contributed photo by Erin Rickman)

Chance Baggett performs on the Walnut Street Bridge...

Photo by Erin Rickman

While growing up, 15-year-old Chance Baggett would see the piano in his grandmother's home and wonder what it would be like to play. It was the desire to play music from his favorite video games that eventually inspired him to take a piano class as a sixth-grader at Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts. The first song he learned was from the 2007 video game Halo 3.

Though he only took one more year of class, he's continued to practice and teach himself.

About a year ago, his mom had a yard sale and Chance decided to play the piano outside. The supervisor of SoundCorps, a nonprofit dedicated to building the local music industry, happened to stop by, and asked if Chance wanted to perform at locations around town as part of SoundCorps' street performer program.

Ever since, Chance has performed nearly every weekend on a full-size electric piano in locations across the city, including the Walnut Street Bridge, Chattanooga Choo Choo, the airport and Hamilton Place mall — his favorite spot to play. He doesn't just play video game music; his favorite song to perform is "In un'altra vita," a classic piano solo by Italian composer Ludovico Einaudi.

"It creates a really good atmosphere," Chance said.

He is saving the tips he's made through busking for college. Currently his top choice is Chicago University, where he'd like to major in astronomy and astrophysics.


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