Weill Institute Musicians help Bronx nursing home residents compose, perform

Posted on: February 13, 2012

In Monday’s (2/13) New York Times, Suzanne Dechillo writes, “Balancing a violin and bow in one hand, Concetta Previte whipped her wheelchair through a Bronx nursing home, heading for a composing workshop at the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function. Ms. Previte, 72, who is chronically ill, writes lyrics. … For two weeks, she joined six other residents at Beth Abraham Health Services in a collaboration with seven chamber music players from Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, whose Musical Connections program aims to bring music to a wider audience, in schools, hospitals, prisons and bars, as well as concert halls. The patients, ages 57 to 98, varied in their musical ability. Andrew Asch, 58, for instance, is a classically trained pianist and composer with neuromuscular problems that curtailed his career, but not his passion for music. … Three times a week for two hours, the hallways echoed with Bach, blues and spirituals, as the patients and Carnegie Hall musicians, who call themselves the Declassified, worked to create and eventually perform original pieces. … The workshop sessions culminated in a concert, with eight pieces the patients and Carnegie Hall musicians had created. The audience cheered. Some left humming the tunes. At least one person cried.”

Posted February 13, 2012