Alabama Symphony musicians perform live and virtual concerts for coronavirus patients

Posted on: November 11, 2020

As Alabama Symphony Orchestra Principal Flute Lisa Wienhold performs on screen, medical professionals Anand Iyer and Hannah Oakes facilitate the recital for a COVID-19 patient at UAB Hospital using a telehealth cart. Photo by Steve Wood

“Coronavirus patients at UAB Hospital [in Birmingham, Alabama] are getting a chance to relax a little to the sound of live, classical music,” reads an unsigned report on Tuesday (11/10) at CBS 42 (Alabama). “Since June, six Alabama Symphony Orchestra musicians—who play instruments including the flute, clarinet and violin—have been comforting coronavirus patients at UAB Hospital through an innovative virtual musical project. ‘[We’re] bringing classical music, virtually and live, using the telehealth platform that we have at UAB to the patients who are lonely, isolated, and anxious in our ICU,’ said Dr. Anand Iyer, assistant professor with UAB’s Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine. They’ve performed close to 70 live, private, solo and virtual recitals for patients with respiratory failure due to COVID-19. The patients can see and hear the performers on screen, but because of HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] regulations, the performers do not see or hear the patients. Each experience is a half-hour long and works performed range from Bach to the Beatles.”