Editor’s Note: This columnist has been a member of the Lakewood Symphony board for two years.
The Lakewood Symphony, like many local musical groups, had to cancel the latter half of its 2019-2020 season as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions, and is still sorting out when to start its new season. But some symphony members found a different way to keep the music going this summer and autumn, and provided much needed entertainment to residents of senior homes.
“COVID restrictions of isolation and social distancing, as well as the effect on humans, was the impetus to figure out a way to bring musicians wanting to perform live music to the senior settings where there are limited visitors, stimulation, and the emotional journey that is achieved with music,” explained Barb Moritzky, a member of the symphony’s board. “It seemed figuring out a way that musicians could perform to senior citizens would be a win-win.”
Members of the symphony began performing at outside of the Village of Belmar in July and recently added performances at the nonprofit Eaton Senior Communities - both communities have residents who have been longtime supporters of the symphony. The aim is to continue to perform at these locations through the end of October, as long as the weather holds.
“The residents of Eaton were overjoyed that the Lakewood Symphony was coming to play,” said Alie Mitisek, director of Life Enrichment at Eaton. “Music is a powerful way to brighten even the darkest of days. This music provides a sense of community when it is deeply needed.”
The most recent performances featured a variety of tunes from principal harpist Rebecca Moritzky and music from the symphony brass quartet, Jeff Emanuel, Steve Pollock, Bill Skully and Christopher Chalfant. Past performers have been combinations of various instruments and group sizes.
“Audience members would tap or clap to the music, some would sing, a couple of times there was some dancing and laughing, as if they were coming back to life,” Moritzky said. “In one case, one of the performers was playing the marimba and mid-song I overheard him say, `I’m playing live music… I haven’t played to an audience in 3 months… this feels great.’”
The performances have been a great way for the symphony to connect with the community, particularly those who could use some extra attention during this challenging time.
“The pandemic has had a profound effect on our residents’ well-being. They are used to a full schedule of activities and community engagement,” Mitisek said. “The outdoors, socially-distanced concerts are a wonderful and safe way for residents to share in an experience with neighbors.”
For information on supporting and learning more about Eaton, contact email@example.com. To learn more about the Lakewood Symphony, visit www.lakewoodsymphony.org.
Same zoo, new Boo
The Denver Zoo, 2300 Steele St., will still be offering an option to get children out and exploring the 84-acre campus this Halloween season.
Hosted through Saturday, Oct. 31, Boo at the Zoo: Storybook Safari is a new take on the familiar event, featuring classic animal stories and fairy tales brought to life thanks to costumed characters, animal experiences and much more. In addition, Nature Connects®, Art with LEGO® Bricks will also be up through the 31st, with about 15 nature-inspired sculptures by artist Sean Kenney.
All the details can be found at www.denverzoo.org/events/boo-at-the-zoo/.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week - Band of Horses perform ‘Cease to Begin’
In 2007 Band of Horses released one of the great indie-rock albums of the aughts with their sophomore release, “Cease to Begin,” featuring classic tracks like “No One’s Gonna Love You” and “Is There a Ghost.”
The album is celebrating its thirteenth birthday on Oct. 9 and lead vocalist, guitarist and founder Ben Bridwell and keyboardist, guitarist and vocalist Ryan Monroe will be marking the occasion with a livestream performance of the full album and other favorites.
The show will be at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 9, and tickets can be purchased for the “front row” - which means you’ll appear on Bridwell and Monroe’s screen as they perform - or the “balcony.” Get yours at https://bandofhorses.topeka.live/.
Streaming style - ‘Once Upon a River’
There’s an art to creating a riveting character-driven film, and director Haroula Rose’s debut, “Once Upon a River,” shows she already has the knack. I came across the film at the 2019 Vail Film Festival and was rocked back, not only by Rose’s assured direction, but also by lead-actor Kenadi Delacerna’s hypnotic performance - also her first.
Based on the novel by Bonnie Jo Campbell, Delacerna plays Margo Crane, a young woman in the late 1970s Michigan grappling with who she is and where she fits in a world that doesn’t seem to care. John Ashton also deserves recognition for the gruff warmth he brings to the character of Smoke.
This is a film for the seekers — which is all of us, really. Don’t miss it at virtual cinemas by visiting www.filmmovement.com/once-upon-a-river.
And check out the lovely soundtrack here:
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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