Oregon Symphony musicians bring holiday cheer to hospitals and shelters

Posted on: December 20, 2010

In Monday’s (12/20) Oregonian (Portland), David Stabler writes, “One afternoon, 30 kids sit expectantly on floor mats in a school gym. They are there because they are paralyzingly sad or defiantly angry. But when five string players from the Oregon Symphony start playing carols, they pick up bells and sing. ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!’ they sing, and slap bells on their legs. They’ve been quiet through ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ and ‘Greensleeves,’ but ‘Rudolph’ gets them going. … This is the second year that cellist Marilyn de Oliveira asked her colleagues in the Oregon Symphony to play free concerts at hospitals and shelters. She had no trouble signing up two-dozen musicians, all volunteers, for the Oregon Symphony’s Caroling Project, which visited Parry Center Day Treatment Program, Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel, Albertina Kerr Center in Gresham and ChristieCare in Marylhurst, among others. … The day they played for battered women, one woman left the room in tears but returned to laugh and sing along. She later told de Oliveira that it was her first time in a shelter, away from her family, in a new city. The music comforted her, she said.”

Photo of Marilyn de Oliveira by Ross William Hamilton/The Oregonian

Posted December 20, 2010