Musicians Find a Unique Way to Perform for Residents

When it’s not possible for residents to get out to watch a musical performance, why not bring the performance to the residents? That’s what happened Monday when three of Calgary’s top Jazz players came to United’s Fish Creek and Garrison Green residences for a parade of New Orleans-style favourites and familiar ballads that saw United residents clapping their hands and singing along.

Jazz trio, left to right, Mark DeJong on sax, Carsten Rubeling on trombone and Andre Wickenheiser on trumpet

Jazz trio, left to right, Mark DeJong on sax, Carsten Rubeling on trombone and Andre Wickenheiser on trumpet

“Jill LaForty, United’s music director contacted me and suggested a unique way to bring live music to the residents at a time when current restrictions are preventing that from happening,” said Mark DeJong, who along with Andre Wickenheiser on trumpet and Carsten Rubeling on trombone, serenaded residents with a wide selection of festive tunes including swing, dixieland and blues.

Mark and a roster of musician friends often play for United’s residents, holding musical chats about music’s cultural, economic and social background through a range of music styles – jazz, folk, country, blues and swing.

“The three of us work together a lot, so we decided on a collection of tunes that were upbeat, melodic and from an era familiar to the residents,” said Mark.

The trio started in the courtyards of both residences with residents watching from their windows or on balconies. They performed for an hour at each community, walking around the buildings to ensure every resident had the chance to listen and participate. For a little taste of what the residents were treated to, click on the video below.

“They were almost under my window,” said Garrison Green resident Joan MacKenzie. “Everybody really enjoyed it. They played songs that were popular in our day, and there was very nice interaction. We shouted and cheered, and they waved and called back. It was a very friendly and unique performance. I appreciate the time they took. It really made my day!”

Residents at Fish Creek heard the concert from their own "box seats"

Residents at Fish Creek heard the concert from their own “box seats”

“It was very heartening to play for the residents who were very appreciative. They waved, smiled and applauded and thanked us for playing for them. It was a very positive experience from our perspective. We can’t share the music the way we are accustomed to, so to bring the music to the residents was a great experience,” said Mark.

Mark said the restrictions have made it difficult not to play for an audience in the traditional way. “We want to believe that the arts and music are essential, but in many ways the restrictions have made performing very difficult, so being able to share what we love in such a unique way is a wonderful experience for us.”

Photos by United Active Living

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Imagine! Live the life you've always dreamed of at one of our United Active Living communities. Please contact us today to learn more about our two communities Garrison Green or Fish Creek

The restrictions on visiting mean that tours aren’t available right now, but don’t hesitate to talk with one of our active living advisors about life in a United community. They can arrange for a tour once it’s safe to do so. If 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 future visit. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.

Or, to find out more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.

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