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Carnegie Hall Program Spotlights Patients

Seven patients at Beth Abraham Health Services' nursing home in the Bronx recently got the chance to help create new musical works and then perform them in the spotlight as part of a special collaboration with professional musicians at Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute. The musicians worked one-on-one with the residents as part of a two-week creative residency at the Bronx nursing home and then joined them for a February 2 concert for the entire facility.

The Musical Connections program, a partnership with CenterLight Health System's Institute for Music and Neurologic Function (IMNF), is geared to audiences that face social, physical or emotional challenges and wouldn't normally have access to live music. For these elderly and disabled residents, the program was also a much-appreciated opportunity to pursue a lifelong passion.

Each resident is already benefiting from music therapy through the IMNF. As Executive Director Dr. Concetta Tomaino, explains, music has helped them enhance their lives and transcend their illness. She will tell you that if it weren't for music, these residents wouldn't have the spirit and passion they still have today.

Beginning on January 23, members of The DeClassified––a newly formed chamber ensemble made up of alumni of The Academy, a fellowship program for young professional musicians––worked with a group of Beth Abraham patients and IMNF staff in six creative workshops over the course of two weeks. Each resident got to spend time with different musicians and help create a composition based on a song they chose or music they wrote. The ensemble used the IMNF’s recording studio to produce archival demos of the songs created during the residency.

Later this spring, a violin-viola-clarinet trio and a woodwind quintet made up of current Academy fellows present a concert series featuring programs specifically created for audiences at Beth Abraham. The two ensembles will each perform twice: first for the residents of a nearby senior day health center, also run by CenterLight Healthcare, followed by a public performance as a part of the IMNF’s Community Wellness Series, on April 3 and May 1.

Listen to audio recordings from the program:

"Septet" by Andy Asch

"Tropical Tides" by Concetta Previte

"Music Is" by William Senkiwsky

"Roll On" by Walter Smith

"Carolina Moon" by Jethro Wright

View a video clip from the concert:

Concetta Previte performing "Tropical Tides"

View photos from the workshop:

IMNF photo stream: Musicians Bring High Note to Beth Abraham Residents

Helpful links:

View the press release

More information about the Musical Connections program