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The College Sponsoring First-ever St. Louis Symphony Music Therapy Showcase

Published on 22 May 2013

St. Louis College of Pharmacy is sponsoring St. Louis Symphony’s first-ever SymphonyCares-Music Therapy Showcase.

The concert, set to take place at Powell Hall on Wednesday, April 10 at 7 p.m., is a chance for the St. Louis Symphony to showcase its SymphonyCares music therapy outreach. SymphonyCares began two and a half years ago.

The concert will feature three performances. The first performance will showcase a monthly program that the symphony does at the Saint Louis University Cancer Center. As part of the program, a duo of musicians from the symphony perform in the center’s fusion rooms, playing to patients receiving chemotherapy treatment.

Maureen Burn, director of community programs at the symphony, says the musicians will take time to talk about what it’s like to play to chemotherapy patients and why the outreach is important to them. “They love playing for these patients,” she says.

The second performance will be a collaboration performance between symphony violinist Angie Smart and Circus Flora’s Claire the Clown. Claire is the clown conductor for Clowns on Call, a program that brings clowns and the circus to children in St. Louis area hospitals.

Smart and Claire the Clown perform once a month at Mercy Children’s Hospital for children in the hospital’s playroom, and they make the rounds for children in isolation. “It takes kids’ minds off the pain and boredom of being in a hospital,” Burn says.

Burn calls the third and final performance of the evening “much more participatory.” The performance is a collaboration between symphony musicians and music therapy professors and students at Maryville University, which has been offering courses in music therapy since 1972. Together the musicians, faculty, and students work with adults with disabilities from St. Louis Arc, a nonprofit United Way agency. More than 3,000 St. Louis area adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their families receive support from St. Louis Arc.

“Six musicians will spend time before the show building a program with participants from St. Louis Arc,” Burns says.
The free event will last about an hour, with a reception afterward. Complimentary cupcakes and wine will be served. Casual attire is expected.

Burns says she’s excited to showcase the music therapy outreach that the symphony is doing, especially since the public might not be aware of it. “It’s the first time we’ve put all of our music therapy outreach programs into one showcase. Not many people know about the work the symphony is doing,” she says. “What a wonderful way to showcase it.

“The performances themselves are delightful. It will be very entertaining,” she adds.

The concert is just one of many ways the College partners with the St. Louis Symphony. For information on upcoming concerts and events, contact St. Louis Symphony Campus Coordinator Jerry Hu atjerry.hu@stlcop.edu.

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