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Johnny Summers on trumpet, with Egor Ukoloff on piano

Johnny Summers on trumpet, with Egor Ukoloff on piano

United’s new partnership with the Calgary Jazz Orchestra brought trumpeter Johnny Summers and pianist Egor Ukoloff to the Fish Creek community. The appreciative, packed theatre heard the two perform jazz and blues classics.

In the audience was Garrison Green resident Margaret Hails. Margaret is the wife of late jazz great Cliff Hails, who passed away in January. The two were married for 67 years. Their lives were filled with music. The two even cancelled their honeymoon in 1950 so Cliff could buy a tenor saxophone. Cliff also played the baritone sax, flute and piccolo.  At 26, they immigrated to Canada for a better life, and they settled in Calgary some 60 years ago.

Cliff Hails, right, speaking with good friend Tommy Banks

Cliff Hails, right, speaking with good friend Tommy Banks

“One of the first phone calls I received after following Cliff to Edmonton in 1957 was from a young twenty-year-old Tommy Banks, an up and coming piano player,” recalls Margaret. “He was going to book Cliff for a gig. Cliff and Tommy knew one another for about nine months. Musicians are like one big family! They became close friends and often played together.”

Years later, in the 1990s, Cliff and Margaret became good friends with Johnny Summers, who went on to form the Calgary Jazz Orchestra. Banks, who was a world-renowned jazz pianist and former senator, passed away just a week after Cliff.

The Jazz Orchestra will perform a tribute to Banks during the Orchestra’s first show of their season Oct. 21, and many United residents, including Margaret, will be in the audience.

Johnny Summers shares a laugh with resident Margaret Hails

Johnny Summers shares a laugh with resident Margaret Hails

“We first met Johnny in Hawaii,” said Margaret. “Cliff was playing with Neil Gow & the Five Knights and we instantly took a liking to Johnny. We’ve been friends ever since.”

“I was really nice to see Margaret here,” said Johnny. “I dedicated a song during our performance to Cliff. It was terrific to speak with her afterwards. Cliff and I played together at various jazz festivals and he was one of the great sax players.

“I really enjoyed playing for the residents in such an intimate setting. It is more authentic in many ways because our playing is much like having a conversation with the audience. Playing in a jazz club feels very much like playing in this theatre. I always like to have fun with the audience.”

And the residents liked what they heard. “I loved it. It was light and very professional,” said resident Alexis Beddoe. “I’m really impressed with the partnerships United has. I’m always surprised at the professional level at which they perform.”

“I loved the performance,” said Margaret. “I think a lot of seniors hear the word ‘jazz’ and they have an idea of what they will hear, but Johnny does a great job of interpreting the music and adding his own touches to the music making it a real joy to listen to.”

Photos by United Active Living, Video by Sherana Productions.

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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 Fish Creek community, watch this short video.

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Almost 100 United residents took part in the Honens Piano Competition and Festival last week in the largest programming initiative to date.

“Thanks to our partnership with Honens, our residents got to be part of the one of the premier musical events in the world!” commented United music director Jill LaForty. “They attended concerts live at Jack Singer Hall, watched several rounds of the competition live-streamed in our theatre, and even had a chance to hear and meet some of these brilliant musicians right in their own community”.

United threw open its doors to the larger Calgary community for two Honens encore concerts. The one at our Fish Creek community featured semi-finalist Megan-Geoffrey Prins from South Africa. Performing before a full house of residents, family, friends and several Calgary music lovers, Megan held nothing back. His program of challenging pieces from his semi-final recital on the community Steinway piano was topped off with a familiar Chopin Waltz.

 

chocolate cubcakes with a kitkat keyboard

A Concerto in Chocolate Major

After the concert Megan was extremely gracious during the wine and cheese reception. It was complete with chocolate cupcakes accented with an elaborate keyboard motif created especially by United chefs. Megan mixed with many of our residents and enthusiastically and generously answered their many questions one-on-one or in small groups. Some spoke with him about having followed the Honens competition for years.

The Honens week at United, which included eight concerts, wrapped up at 10:30 p.m. Friday night when almost a dozen residents were riveted to the large screens in the theatres watching the last of the final three brilliant contestants vie for the Honens crown.  “Honens is music at its best!” exclaimed Fish Creek resident Joan Patterson. “The pianists were all very special. It’s so great that United offers us this. I’ve always loved music, but I was busy raising my children. Now I have time to enjoy it.”

“Everyone at United Active Living – our residents and staff – are thrilled with the naming of Georgian pianist Nicolas Namoradze as Honens newest Prize Laureate,” said Jill. “We had an especially close relationship with the previous Laureate, Luca Buratto over the previous three years, and with our ongoing partnership with Honens, we look forward to hearing Nicolas both within our communities and in concert in Calgary at his various public performances.”

Namoradze, 26,  won the world’s largest prize for piano – $100,000 – and a three-year Artist Development Program valued at $500,000, which includes debut recitals in some of the world’s leading concert houses, concert opportunities with leading orchestras, professional management, residencies, and recordings. He already has an impressive performance resume, which you can view here.

“We are looking forward to showcasing Nicolas’ talent for United’s residents through our ongoing partnership,” said Honens president Neil Edwards. “While he has brought his formidable skills to major concert venues around the world, we’re looking forward to playing in the smaller, more intimate venue that United’s communities provide.”

Photo credits: Monique de St. Croix, Sherana Productions, Jeff Chan

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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“The true beauty of music is that it connects people.” – Roy Ayers, American funk, soul and jazz composer

United continues to connect music to people by partnering with the Calgary Jazz Orchestra to expand the wide range of music available to residents of the two communities.

The Calgary Jazz Orchestra (CJO) began 14 years ago as the brainchild of jazz musician Johnny Summers. At the time, Calgary was lacking a jazz orchestra, so Johnny brought together two dozen of the best musicians. “These are world-class performers,” said Johnny. “We have all grown throughout the years and we are dedicated to giving Calgary the best musical experience with every concert we give.”

The Orchestra gives six concerts each year at the River Park Church in Marda Loop.

“United is one of our first partners,” said Lacie Marchand, CJO concert manager. “It’s a way to expand our audience and give residents a unique musical experience. I think people see jazz as mainly background music, but watching jazz performed live can be an involving, emotional experience.”

Johnny agrees, adding that attending one of their concerts is like going to an art gallery. “You see how the various artists in the gallery create an emotional attachment to the viewer. It’s the same attending one of our shows. Our musicians create emotion with sound. For the audience, a live performance offers an authentic, real experience that incorporates a range of emotions including humour and just plain fun!”

Johnny often rearranges popular music for the concerts into funk, soul and pop versions. For instance, Disney’s classics are reimagined as jazz pieces, and their annual Christmas show combines traditional Christmas music with a jazzy flare, with popular Frank Sinatra tunes.

“”We’re really looking forward to our partnership with the Calgary Jazz Orchestra,” said United’s music director Jill LaForty. “Music is important to our residents. We offer a wide variety of musical genres both in-house and at various music venues. CJO musicians will perform three concerts this year for United residents. The first will be at our Fish Creek community in September and feature Johnny on trumpet and Egor Ukoloff on piano. Afterwards, our residents will have a chance to mingle and talk one-on-one with the musicians. These types of performances are unique to United’s communities.”

“It really means a lot to me as a musician to play for an audience and watch their reactions,” said Johnny. “I watch their faces – their expressions, the laughter, the smiles. The applause is genuine and the excitement for us and for our audience is genuine. It’s why we do what we do.”

Photos by Calgary Jazz Orchestra

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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 Fish Creek community, watch this short video.

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Combining music with storytelling is the premise behind a new project between United and the Alberta Music Education Foundation (AMEF) that brought residents and students together at two performances at United communities.

United and AMEF recently signed a partnership agreement that encourages the use of music to add a new dimension to traditional storytelling programs. The result was two amazing performances involving residents of United’s two communities and students from Bishop Carroll High School in Calgary.

“This was a unique way to bring important stories to light that might otherwise have not been told,” said Samantha Whelan Kotkas, a facilitator on the project. “We asked residents for a favourite song from their younger days and then asked them what the song reminded them of. Then we paired students with the residents to create a skit around the story, which incorporated the music. The result was highly entertaining!”

83-year-old Sonia Eisler from the Garrison Green community used the 1967 song What a Wonderful World to recall visits to B.C.’s Harrison Hot Springs and the wonderful times her family had there. “I was a little nervous about telling my story but everyone was so encouraging. They made it a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it!” said Sonia. “Music has always been a big part of my life. It was nice to hear the talent and gifts that the students brought to the performances.  While I was reluctant at first, this experience has been inspiring and I’m going to become more involved in some of the other events Garrison has to offer.”

The students not only supported the stories the residents had to tell, but displayed an amazing range of talent on their own. Student Katie McMillan, backed by musicians Aaron Young on guitar and Denis Dufresne on violin, sang an emotional rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah for a friend who had recently passed.  Amy Gulewicz used the Beatles’ Hey Jude to talk about music being more about emotion than the notes, Michael Nimegeers and the students performed Everybody Wants to be a Cat from the play the Aristocats, and Jack Storwick talked about his love for collecting vinyl records after attending the Las Vegas play Love, featuring the Beatles’ music. “A lot of work goes into things we take for granted,” Jack told the audience. “After hearing that album, I appreciated how much work it took to create it. The lesson for me was, never take anything for granted.”

Garrison Green’s Lil Tyler and student Amy Gulewicz performed a short play based on the 1936 song It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie. Lil recalled a time when she was eight when an aunt became engaged, but then was heartbroken when the man called off the engagement in a letter, and even asked for the return of the ring. “This project was a terrific idea,” said Lil. “That song was popular at the time so in my mind that event is tied to the song. Later, when Hitler came to power, that song was tied to something much bigger.”

 

Fish Creek resident Agnes Rewucki used video to recall a trip to India by ship, and while onboard, she became known as an unbeatable ping pong player, which she re-enacted for the appreciative audience.

 

 

And Fish Creek resident Ernie Orford and Michael Nimegeers recalled Ernie’s love for the violin, but his family couldn’t afford one so he turned to the harmonica, which Ernie played for the audience. Ernie recalled that he later purchased a violin through the Eaton’s catalogue, and he became a self-taught left-handed violinist performing at small house parties.

 

AMEF chair Rolf Bertsch, a long-time friend of United, suggested the project as a way to bring older adults and students together. “AMEF did a similar project several years ago, but this one was so successful that I see it expanding to include other older adult communities where the arts are an important component of their philosophy.”

United’s music director, Jill LaForty, who saw the project through from its inception, saw the relationship-building that happened among the communities and the participants to be one of the most important aspects of the project. “For residents who came to our final presentations, they saw their neighbours in a whole new light. They saw some people who had been very quiet, suddenly expressing themselves or they discovered a talent, like Ernie playing the harmonica, that they had no idea was there. And the closeness that developed between the students and our residents in some cases will definitely continue long after this project is just a memory. Creative expression and relationship building – that’s what this was about.”

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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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! 

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!


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92-year-old Mary Fenwick doesn’t shy away from a challenge. Last year, she performed during Mount Royal’s Sounds of the Season concert, playing a Christmas favourite on piano, supported by a full orchestra.

On Saturday, Mary will bring greetings from United Active Living – sponsors of the Sounds of the Season concert event.

“For the past six years that I’ve lived at United’s Garrison Green, my life has been full of joy and never-ending new experiences,” said Mary. “My first experience was in the Writers-in-Residence program [watch the video below], where students from Mount Royal’s English program interviewed us and captured highlights from our lives. That was a marvellous program. The students even made a children’s book from my life, which I treasure to this day.

 

Mary doesn’t equate life to a cup half full. To her, the cup is always completely full.
“United’s philosophy is to engage and excite and enlarge our lives, and that is what has happened in my life. Take last year’s Sounds of the Season concert. When Mount Royal first approached me I thought they wanted me to sing in the choir. But I soon realized they wanted me to play piano on stage. I thought I would just die, but when I walked out on the stage and whole orchestra gave me a thumb’s up, all the stage fright fell away and I had absolutely the best time.”

Mary, like so many other residents at United’s two communities, are shining examples of what life can be like in our later years.

“United’s partnerships with Mount Royal and other organizations in Calgary bring a lot of joy into our lives, and the opportunity to experience new things. I’m having so much fun right now!”

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!