Partnership with Mount Royal University a win-win for students and residents
United Active Living’s communities are microcosms of the larger community, which offer access to new learning opportunities, art, fitness and music. And when two organizations come together that are both committed to lifelong learning and creative expression, shared connections are cultivated between students and older adults through shared enjoyment of the arts.
“Our long-standing partnership with the Mount Royal University Conservatory includes sponsoring this year’s Sounds of the Season concert evening,” said Jill LaForty, United Active Living’s Music Director. “The concert – presented in the Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts – provides residents with opportunities to experience a variety of musical styles and to celebrate the season with fabulous musical performances.”
Sounds of the Season has become known as a confluence of musical talent. The evening highlights the Calgary Youth Orchestra, Mount Royal Kantorei and Zhi-Yin choirs. Calgary’s favourite comic a cappella quartet, the Heebee-jeebees will also perform. Handel’s famous Hallelujah Chorus and Vivaldi’s Gloria with all three choirs and full orchestra are featured as well as individual choral and orchestral works, and a few classics with a twist.
United Active Living proudly sponsors the evening – an an important initiative to support emerging talent in our community and for residents to engage and enjoy many forms of creative expression. United resident Ralph Brinkhurst, who is a retired zoologist and enthusiastic music lover, will bring greetings from the stage on behalf of United residents, sharing why community partnerships with organizations like Mount Royal University, are vital to building community and promoting lifelong learning.
United’s partnership with Mount Royal University goes back to 2008, offering an Arts & Culture series, Conservatory concerts, lectures and other intergenerational learning opportunities. As well, students from the Conservatory regularly perform at United. “Residents have had the privilege of hearing tremendously gifted music students through the years,” said Jill. “One former student, pianist Kevin Chen, just won his second major international competition. Conservatory speech and drama students also come and animatedly tell stories or perform short scenes, and a number of professors give talks on politics, culture and science. It’s been such a beneficial partnership because all involved experience the benefits: students, residents, faculty, and our two organizations.”
“The partnership with United offers residents and our students a number of benefits,” said Terry Clark, Conservatory Director. “Our students like to perform, so this gives them the opportunity to perform for different audiences in different venues. It gives them the chance to introduce the pieces they perform, which in turn gives residents a better understanding and context around the pieces. These are skills we value as educators and are skills the students gain through their performances and the interchange of ideas with older adults.
“As well, the partnership gives us the opportunity to look at the Conservatory’s role in society and the community, and to promote health and well-being through music.”
Kathy Dornian is a piano instructor with the Conservatory. “A big part of the Conservatory’s purpose is outreach. It’s a win/win for the students and the audiences. We work closely with United to prepare several concerts within United’s communities during the year. Our students are encouraged to engage residents in discussions about the pieces they perform, and this gives students an intergenerational understanding of what older audiences appreciate, especially those who have cognitive impairments and how they may respond to the music performed.”
“It’s common for students to view a performance as a one-way interaction,” said Terry. “But audiences aren’t always passive. They appreciate the music in a variety of ways, so the performances helps students understand how a variety of demographics respond.”
The Mount Royal Conservatory presents Sounds of the Season on Saturday, December 17 at 7:30pm. To get your tickets, visit https://tickets.mru.ca/
Sounds of the Season is proudly supported and presented by United Active Living.
Photos by Mount Royal Conservatory. Videos by Sherana Productions.
Speak with one of our active living advisors about life in a United community. They can arrange tours of our Garrison Green and Fish Creek communities. 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!