Chicago Methodist Senior Services prides itself on the opportunities we provide for staff and residents to experience the joy of music together. From having CoCo’s Songs for Seniors rent a 30-foot cherry picker bucket truck to serenade Wesley Place residents from a safe distance, to residents practicing learning the piano, there are no shortage of opportunities for our community to get their share of music.
One of our most cherished partnerships is with the Lyric Opera Stage Artists (LOSA). This group of volunteers from the Lyric Opera of Chicago perform opera, classical music and musical theatre free of charge for CMSS residents.
This partnership began two and a half years ago with a concert at Hartwell Place. Following that performance, LOSA made time to perform two concerts a year at each of the CMSS communities: Hartwell Place, Wesley Place and Covenant Home of Chicago. Their goal is to “bring the potential of music and theater to the lives of all those who need its lasting beauty and power.”
Pam Williams, outreach coordinator for LOSA and a mezzo soprano, recalls the transformational moments she’s witnessed while performing at Hartwell Place. Many residents experience memory loss, but Williams recalls that the older adults quickly remember some of the music played. They smile, tap their feet and even sing along. LOSA performed “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning,” for residents and before they knew it, every single person in the room was singing along.
“Seeing people’s faces light up gives us the energy to keep working, pursuing and broadening our outreach to help more people,” Williams said.
Due to the pandemic, they were forced to pivot to virtually performing. LOSA has been busier than ever with even more communities wanting the magic that comes with a performance. And with the Lyric Opera of Chicago being closed, these volunteers are committed to using their voices to give communities hope.
“We get such a sense of fulfillment and happiness when we see that our music impacts people who are not able to go out and see live performances,” Williams said. “We’re just happy to be able to serve our community.”
Thank you for everything you do, Lyric Opera Stage Artists. We’re so thankful to call you a partner.