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“Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.” – Mark Twain

If only writing is that easy. For some, writing flows naturally, but for others it can be a handwringing, emotional experience. Whatever the process, writing helps us express ourselves. And that’s why United introduced Writer’s Corner a few years ago. Each month a group of interested residents gets together to discuss and improve their writing. The program is led by two local writers Erika Bloedorn and Monica Schmidt who have been a part of the Garrison Green community for several years.

While Erika and Monica started as volunteers in the Mount Royal University Life Writing program, the connections they made inspired them to continue to draw out residents’ stories through writing. They developed this program to help people interested in writing gain the skills and confidence needed to pursue this passion.

Virginia Stewart, a published poet that we wrote about last year, is one of the longest attending members of the Writers’ Corner program. She has much to say about how this group has influenced her writing and allowed for stronger connections between her neighbours. This is her experience with the program.

Writer’s Corner, by Virginia Stewart

You may wonder what you have stumbled into when you find yourself on a Thursday evening drawn to a room full of laughter. It’s just one way to spend an evening at Garrison Green. After five minutes of free writing we are encouraged to share the results of our spontaneity.

We will take many hesitant steps on our way to successful writing. I say hesitant because we all understand when we put our thoughts and interpretations on paper— and then read them aloud to a group of new friends— we are uncertain how we will be received.

Wendy Martin in Writers Corner

Wendy Martin writing about her life in England

However, we accept the challenge as Lil rolls out a tale of Tigger, her cabin puss and Wendy reflects on her early life in England. These private recollections have been squirrelled away in our memories until one evening our pens take off and we feel prepared to share.

Can we indulge our spontaneity? Are we able to shed some light on our creations? We have turned our evenings into a collection of happenings, which serve to mark a turning point in our creativity.

We were about six people initially who were interested in doing some writing, or should I say in improving our writing. Two women, recent graduates from Mount Royal University’s English program were eager to work with a group of seniors who wanted to write.

That group has grown to about 13 people keen to talk about personal anecdotes. What does this group mean to me? I find I spend some of my quiet time reflecting on life’s experiences. Such little things often turn out to have a humorous side to them that we hadn’t noticed until we took time to listen.

Our Writer’s in Residence program is another popular program at United involving English students from Mount Royal University. Find out more in this video.

Why wait? Call today to arrange a tour!

Imagine! Flex your creative side. Fine dining. New friends. Luxurious suites. Live the lifestyle you deserve at one of our United Active Living communities. Click the button on the right to arrange a tour at Garrison Green or Fish Creek

Do you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community? Send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a tour. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.

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Two of the most prolific artists at United’s Garrison Green community are Hugh and Kay Kuwahara. Despite just turning 104, Hugh continues to paint every day and his wife of 77 years, Kay, who will be 98 years old in May, is keeping her easel busy as well.

Together with their son Doug, and his wife Anne, Hugh celebrated his birthday with about 100 of his closest friends, and at the same time, Hugh and Kay’s works were put on display.

Hugh Kuwahara at work in the art studio

Hugh Kuwahara at work in the art studio

“We moved to Garrison Green six years ago,” said Hugh. “I had been introduced to water colour painting by a friend at another community we lived in, and carried that over to here. I like doing mountain scenes. They are a lot easier than faces!” he jokes.

Hugh and Kay spend part of every day in the Garrison Green art studio, where they have become regular fixtures, working on a variety of projects.

Kay Kuwahara with one of her paintings

Kay Kuwahara with one of her paintings

“The art studio was one of the big reasons we suggested they move to Garrison Green,” said daughter-in-law Anne Kuwahara. “We looked at the creative programs and thought this would be an ideal place for them.”

“My dad has always been creative,” said son Doug. “After he retired, he took up wood carving and produced a large number of pieces. And then before coming here, he took up painting.”

Together, Hugh and Kay have produced dozens of pieces.

Time your visit to take in Stonehenge at dusk

Autumn Glory by Kay Kuwahara

Old Giants by Hugh Kuwahara

Old Giants by Hugh Kuwahara

“I really didn’t start painting until I came to Garrison Green,” said Kay. “I saw the art studio, saw what other residents were doing. Now it’s something I really enjoy doing. Living so close to the mountains is a real inspiration for my paintings.”

At 104 and 97, the Kuwaharas are an inspiration when it comes to creativity. “I don’t think about age,” said Kay. “It’s not something that stops us from painting. We really enjoy it so we’ll keep doing it.”

As Kay mentioned, age is no barrier to creativity. See what other artists say about it in this video.

Why wait? Call today to arrange a tour!

Imagine! Flex your creative side. Fine dining. New friends. Luxurious suites. Live the lifestyle you deserve at one of our United Active Living communities. Click the button on the right to arrange a tour at Garrison Green or Fish Creek

Do you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community? Send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a tour. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.

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Wendy Martin has a passion. For more than 50 years, she has been reflecting the world around her in quilts. Big or small, the quilts she makes tell the stories of her life.

Wendy's son Robert with Wendy's first quilt

Wendy’s son Robert with Wendy’s first quilt in 1967

Wendy's quilt for Canada's 150th anniversary

Wendy’s quilt for Canada’s 150th anniversary

“I started quilting in Canada’s Centennial year, 1967. I thought it would be nice to honour the 100th anniversary by making a quilt. And 50 years later, I created another one for Canada’s 150th. I was attracted to quilting because it’s considered a traditional North American craft that has its beginnings in the Middle Ages in Europe. Various quilting styles have developed over the years, but I consider mine the Wendy Martin style,” she laughs.

Wendy shows her quilt to Calgary Civic Symphony conductor Rolf Bertsch

Wendy shows her quilt to Calgary Civic Symphony conductor Rolf Bertsch

Wendy calls herself an Old World patchwork quilter, but while patchwork quilting often doesn’t involve a particular theme, many of her quilts spring from an inspirational moment.

“When Calgary Civic Symphony conductor Rolf Bertsch played Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition for us, many residents were inspired to create artwork that reflected what they heard. For me, I saw colours and images in the music – children, witches, catacombs and the like, so I created a large quilt which impressed Rolf!”

 

 

Wendy doesn’t waste any piece of cloth, and her suite at United’s Garrison Green community is piled with more than 50 quilts and boxes of material, some containing unfinished quilts, which she calls her UFOs, or Unfinished Objects. She is often working on more than one project at a time, completing about two quilts a year.

Over her life of quilting, she estimates she has completed  more than 100, some of which were on display at her Trunk Show, which displayed dozens of her quilts to a highly appreciative audience.

What inspires her? “Really, it can be just about anything. Music inspires me. I see pictures in the music. One time, a particular piece was being played in our Music Appreciation program, and I saw a river. I found blue and green material in my boxes and created a quilt from that. While others see only the colours, I see the rivers.”

Wendy was involved in Girl Guides and Scouting for more than 30 years. She collected crests at international camps and Leadership Training that she used to create a quilt. “I really enjoyed my time in Guides, especially teaching the leaders and guides in wilderness camping, and the need to respect the forest,” she says.

“I’ve easily got enough material for another 20 quilts, but I never sell them. Quilting is a hobby and a passion, so I make them and give them away to family and friends. It’s simply a wonderful way to express the world around me. I’ll keep at it even though threading a needle is more difficult these days, but I don’t see that stopping me any time soon!”

 

Why wait? Call today to arrange a tour!

Imagine! Flex your creative side. Fine dining. New friends. Luxurious suites. Live the lifestyle you deserve at one of our United Active Living communities. Click the button on the right to arrange a tour at Garrison Green or Fish Creek

Do you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community? Send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a tour. We are happy to help! 

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United has signed a partnership agreement with the Alberta Music Education Foundation (AMEF). Based in Edmonton, but with programs throughout the province, AMEF “provides funding and innovative ideas to Alberta’s music students and teachers.”

United’s first project with AMEF is the Alberta Heritage Music Project that brings students and older adults together to develop stories that are generated by memories linked to a particular song or piece of music from each of these two generations. The stories will then be turned  into plays, poetry or music that reflects each of those stories.

“Music is an important part of the programming we provide to residents at United Active Living communities,” said Jill LaForty, music director at United. “One of the reasons this project made sense for us is that we’re already into inter-generational storytelling with our residents through the Life Writing project with Mount Royal University. This was an opportunity to build on that success using the additional elements of music and drama and to involve some residents who are passionate about music. We know that everyone has a story to tell and this seemed like a particularly creative opportunity to engage our residents give them the opportunity to work with some very gifted young people.”

Resident Ernie Orford with student Michael Nimegeers

Resident Ernie Orford with student Michael Nimegeers

The project was suggested by Rolf Bertsch, who is well known to residents in his role as music director and conductor of the Calgary Civic Symphony, and his teaching work at the Mount Royal University Conservatory.  The project started in February and involves five students from Calgary’s Bishop Carroll High School and five residents of United’s Garrison Green and Fish Creek communities.

“The project connects the two generations through the sharing of musical memories,” said Joel Windsor, secretary, AMEF. “The older adults will share the music they grew up with, and compare that to what the students are listening to today. Those stories and memories from both generations will then be presented at performances in April at the two communities.”

The Heritage Music Project is part of an ongoing AMEF project that has been conducted in past years in Cochrane, Red Deer and Fort McMurray to provide an opportunity for music appreciation for all ages.

Student Brian Heckel records a story told by Garrison Green resident Lil Tyler

Student Brian Heckel records a story told by Garrison Green resident Lil Tyler

“This project is different from the other projects AMEF has done, ” said Jill. “Not only do the older adults share their stories, but the students do as well, and both generations will take part in the final performances. This mutual storytelling is something that one of the facilitators, Samantha Whelan, has brought to the project, and what’s interesting about the stories is that they sometimes bridge the two generations and contain common themes. Their life experiences overlap despite the passage of time.”

“Intergenerational learning used to happen in the home,” said Samantha Whelan Kotkas, who is co-facilitating the project with musician Aaron Young, who is adding all the music live. “That doesn’t happen much anymore so with this project, the two generations are coming together to tell their stories. Music helps trigger those stories. It’s fascinating to see how closely the stories told by the older adult and that of the student resonate together. That happened spontaneously and will be reflected on stage when the stories are told in April.”

“There is no distance between the generations,” said Samantha. “This project really demonstrates how similar we all are.”

Why wait? Call today to arrange a tour!

Imagine! Flex your creative side. Fine dining. New friends. Luxurious suites. Live the lifestyle you deserve at one of our United Active Living communities. Click the button on the right to arrange a tour at Garrison Green or Fish Creek

Do you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community? Send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a tour. We are happy to help! 

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One resident, heading from one program to another, recently said, “There’s just so much to do here!”

CPO string quartet at Garrison Green

CPO string quartet at Garrison Green

Do you love classical music but can’t seem to get out to the CPO anymore? What if the CPO came to you? That’s what happens when you live in a United Active Living community. Thanks to partnerships with a variety of educational and cultural organizations, United can offer residents a wide variety of programs and activities not found elsewhere.

United has formal partnerships with eight organizations and more informal arrangements with dozens of others that bring performances into the two communities. At the same time, residents have access to the larger performances of the Calgary Philharmonic, Calgary Opera, Calgary Pro Musica, Honens and a host of others.

In this spring’s program guides, just released, residents can take in a maple festival at Heritage Park, political discussions, a string quartet from CPO, a wide range of art workshops, Mount Royal Conservatory and Calgary Civic Symphony performances. And the list goes on. There are more than 50 specialty programs and dozens of weekly/monthly ongoing programs listed in each of the community program guides.

If you’ve been wanting to stay active and experience new things in an older adult community, check out what’s available to residents in our seasonal program guides.

Why wait? Call today to arrange a tour!

Imagine! Flex your creative side. Fine dining. New friends. Luxurious suites. Live the lifestyle you deserve at one of our United Active Living communities. Click the button on the right to arrange a tour at Garrison Green or Fish Creek

Do you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community? Send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a tour. We are happy to help! 

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Life is about creating our own stories, and the memories we create are the photos that go with the stories. But stories are meant to be shared, and the partnership between Mount Royal University and United’s Garrison Green community ensures some of those stories and memories are passed on.

Professor Richard Harrison with the collected works of residents and students

Professor Richard Harrison with the collected works of residents and students

What has become an annual Life Writing Project, first proposed by the late residents Cam Mitchell and Tim Tyler, pairs English students with residents. They tell and record the stories, which have sometimes profound effects on both. As Mount Royal’s Richard Harrison, professor of English and Creative Writing, says in the introduction to volume 4 of the collected stories of Garrison Green residents, “The result is that beautiful moment the world becomes larger because the people on both sides of the story they are making become less alone, less defined by where they live or how old they are. Instead, those parts of us that often confine become gifts.”

The stories in volume 4 carry with them a range of emotion – drama, comedy and tears.

The cover of this year’s book shows two arms intertwined. They belong to resident Nigel Way and student Annie Wauthier, and expresses the bond that develops between resident and student that often remains long after the project has ended.

Annie Wauthier with Nigel Way

Annie Wauthier with Nigel Way

“Working with Nigel has allowed me to reflect on our society and how we treat seniors,” said Annie. “I think about our indigenous population and how they value their elders. Storytelling in that culture gives the elders a voice to their experiences. For me, I’ve learned a lot about how society has changed. Through this experience I’ve developed a close relationship with Nigel and his family.”

Others in the program have come away with similar thoughts. Former students Logon Pollon, who now facilitates a poetry program,  and Monica Schmidt, now Garrison’s program development coordinator, continue their relationships with residents. For a look at the first project, watch this video.

Student Megan Nega and resident Hertha Reich

Student Megan Nega and resident Hertha Reich

There are six stories in this year’s book. One story by student Megan Nega and resident Hertha Reich spoke of making a difference. While teaching a young class, Hertha had a difficult student who was often angry and refused to participate. At one point he storms out of the class in anger but comes back and asks to rejoin the class. The story continues, “Paul sat in her lap, put his arms around her and said, ‘I like you Mrs. Reich.” With tears in her eyes she said, “I like you too, Paul.” She had got through to him. It was a victory to see him join hands with the other children. It was those moments where Hertha thought, “I have made a difference.'”

 

Resident Wendy Martin reads an excerpt from her story

Resident Wendy Martin reads an excerpt from her story

Richard Harrison, who recently won a Governor-General’s Award for Poetry, spoke of the impact that storytelling can have. “Telling a story to someone who has never heard it before changes the teller and the listener. Families may have heard the stories before, but telling them to a new audience can often enrich the dialogue, and the stories are told in a new way. It lets them see their lives in a new way.”

Richard encouraged the students to write the stories as if they were listening in on a conversation, and the result is often candid and humorous. In his introduction Richard noted that the process changes lives. “In short, in this book there is life. And stories.”

Why wait? Call today to arrange a tour!

Imagine! Flex your creative side. Fine dining. New friends. Luxurious suites. Live the lifestyle you deserve at one of our United Active Living communities. Click the button on the right to arrange a tour at Garrison Green or Fish Creek

Do you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community? Send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a tour. We are happy to help! 

Contact us here!

 

 

 


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To meet Luca Buratto, you wouldn’t think this unassuming, quiet, 25-year-old has an immense talent as a world-class pianist. Yet when he sits down to play, the listener hears something extraordinary.

“I’ve never seen anyone play Beethoven without sheet music. That’s extraordinary!” commented one resident who was one of more than 100 residents who heard Luca play at United’s Garrison Green community.

Luca played for 75-minutes, performing works from 16th century English Renaissance composer William Byrd, and German composers Ludwig van Beethoven and Robert Schumann. Here’s a small sample of Luca’s performance.

Luca Buratto and Garrison Green resident Mary Fenwick talk about the music

Luca Buratto and Garrison Green resident Mary Fenwick talk about the music

“The reaction I get from playing to a small audience is wonderful,” Luca said. “It’s very rewarding for me. Music is a common language, so for me, the music creates a close connection with the listener no matter their age. Playing here, the atmosphere is more informal compared to a large concert hall and I really enjoy their reactions.”

After the performance, Luca met with residents to answer questions and get to know each other. Luca, who lives in Milan, Italy, was named Honens Prize Laureate in 2015 after the renowned Honens Piano Competition narrowed the field of more than 100 contestants worldwide. Since then he has travelled the world, performing in such famous venues as Wigmore Hall in London and Carnegie Hall in New York. Next month he will play in Berlin’s famous Konzerthaus and in April with the London Philharmonic. Luca’s appearance at United came just after his performance of Rachmaninoff with the Calgary Philharmonic.

Honens president Neil Edwards, left, shares a laugh with Luca Buratto

Honens president Neil Edwards, left shares a laugh with Luca Buratto

“We want to make music as accessible as possible,” said Honens president Neil Edwards. “Our partnership with United gives us an opportunity to bring such a rare talent to residents in a smaller, intimate surrounding. For the past three years, we have worked with Luca to fine-tune his artistry and further develop his career.  The Honens International Piano Competition is now one of the world’s premier classical music events and we are proud that we are an important part of the Calgary music community. This is home!”

The Honens Piano Competition is held every three years, and is one of the most prestigious events of its kind in the world. 2018 is the year another Honens Laureate will be named. The quarter-finals will be held in Berlin and New York in March, with the finals in Calgary in late August.

 

Why wait? Call today to arrange a tour!

Imagine! Flex your creative side. Fine dining. New friends. Luxurious suites. Live the lifestyle you deserve at one of our United Active Living communities. Click the button on the right to arrange a tour at Garrison Green or Fish Creek

Do you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community? Send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a tour. We are happy to help! 

Contact us here!

 

 

 


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Have you ever wondered who wrote that tune that you can’t get out of your head? Or maybe you are intrigued to find out more about the era that spawned its creation?

Mark DeJong speaking with residents at United's Fish Creek community

Mark DeJong speaking with residents at United’s Fish Creek community

United has expanded its popular music appreciation program utilizing the talents of  well-known local musician Mark DeJong.

“I love talking about music and its roots,” said Mark. “I taught jazz history, pop history and western classical music at theUniversity of Saskatchewan, Rutgers in New Jersey and Mount Royal University. I get to share my enthusiasm with people who can really appreciate the history.”

Mark’s first session was on the history of the Brill Building in New York. Haven’t heard of it? You may not have known that Elvis was not the first to record Hound Dog, or that Carole King was a writer before she was a singer. But you have heard some of the hundreds of pop hits its writers and studios created in the sixties with artists like Ray Charles, the Shirelles, the Righteous Brothers and … Carole King.

The Brill even created its own unique sound called Teenage Symphonies, where the vocals were larger than life, and strings and other symphonic sounds were introduced.

“I have always liked sharing the music and the stories around it,” said Mark. “For older adults, I feel that in many ways they are more familiar with elements of the music than I am. They grew up with it.”

Mark agrees that listening to the music of your youth can transport you back in time.

“Music is a memory trigger, no doubt about it. I’ll talk about the recording techniques and the background to a song, but when I play it, that’s when you get the toes tapping and the ‘I remember when…’ from the audience.”

Mark met Jill LaForty, United’s music director and the originator of the music appreciation program while attending a concert at the Bella Concert Hall at Mount Royal University.

“At that time, I’d been running the music appreciation program for about three years, with mostly a classical music focus,” said Jill. “Residents liked the concept so much that they asked that we broaden the material to include Jazz and Pop music. Mark had already been doing the occasional talk for our residents as part of our partnership with Mount Royal, so they were familiar with him. I felt that Mark was the perfect person to expand the program.”

Not only is Mark discussing the origins of Pop and Jazz with residents in his monthly program, but once in awhile in comes in with his sax and a pianist and performs from the American Songbook, a collection of the most popular and influential Jazz standards from the early 20th century.

“Listening to music with a group of people is always enlightening,” said Mark. “As soon as they hear the first chords, I know that the music means something special to them.”

 

Why wait? Call today to arrange a tour!

Imagine! Flex your creative side. Fine dining. New friends. Luxurious suites. Live the lifestyle you deserve at one of our United Active Living communities. Click the button on the right to arrange a tour at Garrison Green or Fish Creek

Do you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community? Send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a tour. We are happy to help! 

Contact us here!

 

 

 


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Residents at United’s Fish Creek community played host this week to performers from Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artists program.  Residents from United’s Garrison Green visited the Fish Creek theatre to take in the performance. Four performers – Daevyd Pepper, Jillian Bonner, Geoffrey Schellenberg and Morgan Traynor –  accompanied on the piano by their director Mel Kirby, thrilled the more than 50 residents with popular numbers, and songs from the upcoming Calgary Opera performance of Eugene Onegin.

Emerging artist Daevyd Pepper, a tenor, says he loves performing for an older audience. “Older adults have usually heard some of the songs before or are planning to attend an upcoming performance,” he said. “Older listeners are also quite interactive. They like to see the performers up close and often engage in conversation with us afterwards. That adds a lot of meaning to me to know that I’m reaching my listeners.”

Here is a portion of Daevyd’s performance for residents.

Calgary Opera is one of several arts, culture and higher learning organizations that United Active Living is partnering with. Each partnership provides opportunities for residents to experience small, intimate concerts within their communities, and to attend outside performances.

Jillian Bonner, a mezzo-soprano said it’s important to give concerts within the community. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to step away from our regular schedule and sing for the community. Being here allows us to perform in a more intimate setting.”

“Having a group like Calgary Opera come into one of our communities provides a unique opportunity for residents to hear the music they love, particularly if they aren’t able to get out as often as they would like,” said United’s music director Jill LaForty. “You can feel the power in their voices that you may not experience fully in a theatre setting. It’s really a special experience.”

Both Daevyd and Jillian agreed that performing in the community is a great way to bring opera to the residents.

Why wait? Call today to arrange a tour!

Imagine! Flex your creative side. Fine dining. New friends. Luxurious suites. Live the lifestyle you deserve at one of our United Active Living communities. Click the button on the right to arrange a tour at Garrison Green or Fish Creek

Do you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community? Send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a tour. We are happy to help! 

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An intriguing series of performances that combined music and art concluded at United’s Garrison Green community featuring Rolf Bertsch, piano professor at the Mount Royal University Conservatory and artistic director and conductor of Calgary Civic Symphony, and the residents of Garrison Green.

“The concept was to use music to inspire the creation of art, “explained Rolf. “We titled the project ‘What do you see when you hear music?’ We all have a deep emotional connection to music. Music can also evoke images, which can then be the basis for creating a variety of art.”

The program, which is part of Mount Royal University’s Arts and Culture program, is a favourite at United. It was introduced to residents last year when Rolf performed Pictures at an Exhibition by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky, which produced a range of paintings, drawings, fibre art and poetry that represented what residents heard.

For this winter’s program, Rolf chose to focus on nature with three themes: snow, moonlight and water.

“For the snow segment, I included two very different works by Claude Debussy. The first was ‘The Snow is Dancing’ with its perpetual and generally gentle, even playful, snowflakes. The second, ‘Des pas sur la neige’ (footprints in the snow), is an eerily still winter scene of very little movement.

“The moonlight segment combined two very obvious choices, Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata and Debussy’s Clair de lune with two others – a Johannes Brahms Intermezzo that the composer had originally called “Nocturne” and Robert Schumann’s famous Träumerei (Dreaming).

“For the water segment I included three works describing different realizations of one of Nature’s most powerful forces. The first was Chopin’s so-called “Raindrop”
Prelude; the second was the Etude-tableau in A minor, Op. 39, No. 2, by
Rachmaninoff – the association with water came through a Respighi orchestration of
this work which the Italian composer called “The Sea and the Seagulls”.

While it almost certainly was not Rachmaninoff’s intention to have this association with the ocean, one can certainly see and hear why Respighi interpreted it this way. Finally,
there was a piece by the little known Portuguese composer, Luis Costa, entitled
“Water on the Mountains” which ended the program with a brilliant cascade of
mountainous water!”

For an encore, Rolf gave a nod to George Shearing with the classic “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.

To introduce each piece, Rolf explained what both he and the composer were thinking, but was careful not to affect the residents’ interpretation of what they heard. “When I make music, I don’t usually think in terms of images. For me it’s more about the colour and character. Therefore, when I introduced each piece, I didn’t want to influence the residents with my own interpretation. As a result, residents produced a wide range of artwork around the general themes.”

“The result was astonishing,” Rolf said. “Creating art from music is an interesting way to spark the creative juices. It’s not about sitting back and passively enjoying the music, but actively engaging in an emotional response to the music. As I mentioned earlier, Rachmaninoff likely wasn’t thinking about the sea and seagulls when he composed his Etude-tableau in A minor, Op. 39, but it evoked those images in Respighi.”

Resident Alexis Beddoe was attracted to the program because she  likes to try new things. “I found the whole exercise very freeing. I’m not an artist but I felt free to make the effort and not worry about whether I was doing a good job. What mattered to me was the process. I really discovered something new about myself!”

“And that’s really what the arts is all about,” said Rolf. “Taking an emotional response to music or a nature scene and creating something new that is highly meaningful to the artist and to the viewer or listener. I’m really looking forward to working with the residents on our next program!”

Why wait? Call today to arrange a tour!

Imagine! Flex your creative side. Fine dining. New friends. Luxurious suites. Live the lifestyle you deserve at one of our United Active Living communities. Click the button on the right to arrange a tour at Garrison Green or Fish Creek

Do you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community? Send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a tour. We are happy to help! 

Contact us here!