Sound of goodbye: Teen says farewell to chance at music competition after piano floods

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Kingwood High School student had big plans to participate in a regional music competition, but then Harvey flooded his home and nearly silenced his music.

A video posted on Facebook shows how Eric Torres ended his relationship with his piano.

His home and more than 2,000 others in Kingwood flooded during Hurricane Harvey. The rising water took a lot from the Torres family and his mother told ABC13 it also washed away his chance to participate in a regional music competition.
"Eric has been playing the piano for years," said his mother Brenda Torres. "His music teacher told him about the competition and he had to learn three pieces to compete."

Torres said her son immediately began to practice for the competition which is scheduled in October. He learned two of the three songs and was practicing on the third when Harvey hit Houston with catastrophic flooding.

"Our home flooded and a lot of things were damaged including the piano," said Torres. "He's down in the dumps because he loved his piano."

Eric's piano was damaged beyond repair and put on the curb with several other items from the Torres home.

Once Harvey's floodwaters receded, Kingwood HS students learned their campus was so severely damaged it would be closed the rest of the school year.

Erik and other Kingwood students resumed the school year at Summer Creek High School.

Before class one recent morning while waiting to board the bus for his hour-long ride to his new school, he decided to say farewell to his piano.

His friend Cindy Morrow Grimm recorded the tender moment on her cell phone. The video shows Eric sitting down at his prized possession. We hear the sounds of goodbye as he plays the piano.

"I was surprised because the piano sounded better than I thought it would," said Torres.

Grimm posted the video on Facebook and it has touched a lot of people.

"I am amazed by the response on Facebook," said Torres.

Torres said since Eric no longer has a piano at home, he is unable to learn the third song for the competition and "practicing on a keyboard is not the same." She said her son also cannot practice on the piano at Summer Creek because of the split schedule to accommodate students from both schools.

RELATED: Kingwood High's road to recovery spreads students to other campuses after Harvey

Eric will not play the piano in the regional competition, but Harvey has not completely silenced the song inside his heart.

"He actually knows how to play about 10 instruments,"said Torres.

Eric no longer has a piano, but is continuing to play music as a percussionist in the Kingwood band.

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