St. Louis Symphony musicians bring music to local cancer patients

Posted on: March 7, 2012

Wednesday (3/7) on the St. Louis Public Radio website, Rachel Lippmann writes, “At first glance, the Saint Louis University Cancer Center and the St. Louis Symphony seem to have vastly different missions. One seeks to provide the best care possible following an often devastating diagnosis. The other seeks to spread the beauty of music wherever it can. But a unique collaboration looks to combine those two missions as often as possible in the region’s first comprehensive music therapy program—to the benefit of both organizations and the people they serve. The St. Louis Symphony doesn’t rehearse on Mondays, so cellists Bjorn Ranheim and Anne Fagerburg are getting ready to play a concert instead. The preparations are the same as if the duo was at Powell Hall on a Saturday night—set up the stands, arrange the music, adjust the chairs, tighten the bow, tune the instrument, watch for the cue, and play. But their stage today is an open patch of floor in the Saint Louis University Cancer Center’s infusion room. … The Symphony’s monthly performances came out of a 2010 committee that studied ways to manage the pain of cancer treatment, says SLU Cancer Center director Dr. Mark Varvares. … A St. Louis Symphony staffer on the committee brought the idea back to the Symphony, and about two years later, a music therapy program was born.”

Posted March 7, 2012