Hindi Greenberg: Support InConcert Sierra’s ‘Music on Wheels’ fundraiser on June 11
I recently attended a classical music concert at Atria Senior Living, performed by musicians from InConcert Sierra, and saw a woman who I have known for years; she used to attend every classical performance in the area.
Unfortunately, she no longer is able to leave the facility and was absolutely thrilled to enjoy a professionally performed concert in “her living room,” as she called it. She took my hand and, with a tear in her eye but a happy grin, repeatedly thanked the people at InConcert Sierra who made it possible for her to have this joyful experience. She emphatically told the musicians to come back soon!
At that same concert, several dementia patients were brought to enjoy the performance. Not long after the music began, a woman who only infrequently speaks was so obviously moved by the music that she began to sway and then sing. To me, her reaction dynamically exhibited the healing power of music.
I serve on the board of InConcert Sierra, one of Nevada County’s premier classical music presenters, and I’m so pleased that InConcert is taking its music on the road and into senior living facilities around western Nevada County. InConcert’s “Music on Wheels” program, inspired by “Meals on Wheels” (which brings nourishing food, at no cost, to those in need), has been bringing live classical music, at no cost, to those seniors who need it most — particularly the elderly whose physical limitations prevent them from leaving their facility to attend InConcert’s monthly performances.
Rafael Diaz, PhD, a retired clinical psychologist and fellow InConcert Sierra board member, is spearheading our new initiative and feels as passionately about it as do I.
“The Music on Wheels program is motivated by mounting scientific evidence of the positive impact of music on the health and well-being of aging persons, including those diagnosed with dementia and in post-stroke recovery,” he said.
He added that studies have documented multiple positive effects of listening to music, such as lower blood pressure, boosts in immune functions, pain relief, improved physical performance, facilitation of sleep, and recovery of physical, cognitive and linguistic functions after strokes.
To me, that research is exciting and also validating. I appreciate many genres of music, but when I listen to classical music, no matter how my life is speeding or what’s worrying me, after the first several notes resonate inside my head, I can feel myself relax and outside thoughts disappear. I, and InConcert Sierra, want to give that same joy, relaxation and peace to the senior facility residents.
To bring increased awareness to the public about this program, InConcert is holding a musical fundraiser at 7 p.m. June 11 at the Nevada Theatre. The same exceptional trio that has been performing at the senior facilities — Ken Hardin on piano, Kirsti Powell on flute and Richard Altenbach on violin — will perform selections for event attendees. You will hear why InConcert has received such glowing feedback and rave kudos from residents at Atria, Hilltop Commons, Cascades of Grass Valley and Springhill Manor.
The June 11 benefit event will also provide the delicious opportunity to bid on and take home locally baked gourmet pies and cakes and win a Cuban dinner personally cooked for six lucky people. There will also be a raffle for a mountain bike and a large, exquisitely incised ceramic bowl made by master potter, Brad Carter. So don’t forget your checkbooks!
Dependent upon the level of community funding support, InConcert will present as many as eight Music on Wheels classical performances each year at senior living facilities in the area. The goal is to bring the same high quality music performed by professional artists who grace the InConcert stage to the residents in intimate “house concerts.”
I am excited about this program and want it to continue bringing music to seniors for many years forward. After all, this is for all of us!
I have friends in senior residences now and might be there myself someday. It is only through financial support from the community that such a healing, pleasurable and musically rich experience can be brought to those who can so greatly benefit. Please join me in attending the June 11 fundraiser both to learn more about Music on Wheels and to help InConcert raise funds for the program’s continuance.
For information about tickets for the fundraising event — which is open to the public — or about Music on Wheels or InConcert Sierra, please visit http://www.inconcertsierra.org or call 530-273-3990.
Hindi Greenberg lives in Nevada City.
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