In Search Of…Our very own Piano Man


La Crescent resident Chuck Chihak can’t imagine his life without a piano. “I’m driven, I have to play. It’s like
breathing, I’ve gotta have it.” But Chuck hasn’t always felt this way. When he was growing up, it was his mother who
pushed him to learn. “There was music around the house and we always had a piano and long about the 6th
grade…against my will she sent me to piano lessons.”

But about two years after those lessons began, something inside Chuck just clicked. “I would get a record and I
would sit and wear the thing out…I ‘had’ to figure it out.” And from that moment on…his life has centered around
the piano. He has a bachelors and masters degree in music, in the 60’s he enlisted in the Army band and for three
decades now he’s been booking gigs with several well known bands. “You get to play more with good players and it’s
just alot of fun. You say I just don’t want this to end.”

The piano has made a very big impact on this musicians life and he hopes his enjoyment strikes a chord with
others. I would encourage music to begin with, but the piano is ideal because it has the full range of an orchestra
and you’re only limited by your imagination.”

We went in search of the Coulee Region’s very own piano man. “It’s hard to find something much more rewarding.” We
found him

You can catch Chuck playing in Al Townsend’s Wonderful World Jazz Band. And the apple doesn’t fall from the
tree, he also regularly performs with his two sons…one plays the drums…the other plays the guitar.