Tonight (April 19), 6:30 – 7:30
Thank you, Ariel Quartet!
Residents at Mason’s Cedar Village retirement community were disappointed to learn of a last minute concert cancellation, until a groundswell of support emerged from the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music (CCM). More than a dozen classical musicians, including faculty and students, stepped up at the last minute, offering to perform a free concert tomorrow tonight, after learning that another musician had to cancel due to illness.
Members of the Ariel Quartet, the Faculty Quartet-in-Residence at CCM, were the first to call Cedar Village volunteering their services. The international artists will entertain residents during a recital from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 on April 19. Since then, over a dozen more contacted the not-for-profit community.
“The volume of calls and outreach from CCM performers has been overwhelming,” said Cedar Village President and CEO Dan Fagin. “It’s humbling that so many people were willing to help out this way, and we are incredibly grateful to the Ariel Quartet for coming to our campus.”
The quartet was founded in Israel 19 years ago. Today it directs CCM’s chamber music program and plays its own annual series of concerts. Performances have taken the quartet to Israel, Europe and North America, including venues such as New York’s Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. One of the members of Ariel, Israeli cellist Amit Even-Tov, called Cedar Village and asked for the opportunity to fill in. Even-Tov explained that the quartet is about to tour with a new piece and was looking for an opportunity to perform it.
CCM faculty pianist Michelle Conda and Cincinnati Music Academy owner and pianist Amy Immerman also helped get the word out. A dozen pianists contacted the community offering to help, as did a double base player. Cedar Village is considering how to include them in future programming.
Pianist Harrison Sheckler, one of the performers who volunteered to perform, is a third year, undergraduate studying with pianist Soyeon Kate Lee. An Iowa native, he said: “I grew up playing many recitals at nursing homes. It’s such a supportive crowd, and that can really help you grow. Because the audience is so appreciative, they really help you get on your feet and move on to the next stage.”
In addition to the entertainment value, music offers therapeutic benefits. Cedar Village houses more than 200 seniors, some who struggle with dementia. Music activates many regions of the brain, helping people to retrieve memories and sometimes even language or the ability to sing, long after illness has robbed them of those skills. Appropriate residents participate in the globally-recognized Music and Memory program. Cedar Village provides free iPods and personalized music play lists that appeal to those residents.