CAMDEN — These difficult days can be especially hard on residents of retirement homes and eldercare facilities of all sorts who are both at greatest risk from the disease and have often suffered greatly from the isolation and separation from family and friends that goes with trying to avoid it, according to Bay Chamber Concerts and Music School, in a news release.
Bay Chamber Music School faculty and students – themselves having had to give up most live performance and navigate online instruction while the school building itself is closed – have found a way to spread sunshine across the pandemic loneliness divide: performances from the Quarry Hill gardens by Bay Chamber teachers and their young students that residents can hear through their windows and doors.
Bay Chamber advancement director Josie Davis, also a performer and violin teacher, in June approached Quarry Hill activities director Noreen Clark to see whether there would be interest in bringing music to the Quarry Hill gardens for residents to listen to. According to Davis, in the release, she knew music had been a part of Quarry Hill programming in the past and so might be appreciated at a time when residents are highly limited in what they can do and who they can engage with in person.
Not surprisingly, said BCC, there was interest at Quarry Hill and three concerts have now followed – plus one cancellation due to rain. A third is planned on July 13, by Davis herself.
“We meet behind the main building on the paved path that surrounds the campus during a morning coffee hour period,” said Davis. “There are a couple of French doors and windows on either side and on the floors above. When we played two weeks ago, folks set up their chairs so they could see outside the windows. Although we couldn't see each other, there was always a warm applause (and some bravos too) between pieces.“
The response at Quarry Hill was “grateful,” to quote its Facebook entry of June 22. “Residents enjoyed a Covid-free, pop-up serenade this morning, when two Bay Chamber Concerts & Music School students and their instructor performed outside open windows at Anderson Inn,” the Quarry Hill building that houses its independent land assisted living and other facilities.
“It’s possible to warm the heart, no matter how chilling the times!” said the release.