On Oct. 12, after five weekly one-hour rehearsals, members of adult day center Town Square Sarasota showcased their final big performance with Key Chorale, the Suncoastâ€™s premier symphonic chorus.
Led by Key Choraleâ€™s Artistic Director and Maestro Joe Caulkins, 30 seniors â€“ most of whom have Alzheimerâ€™s and other forms of dementia â€“ performed 10 songs alongside the professional singers, including This Land is Your Land, Edelweiss, Home on the Range and This Little Light of Mine.
Town Square Sarasota members followed Key Choraleâ€™s Where are My Keys? curriculum, which explores the potential of people living with memory loss to experience renewed purpose, learning, friendships and happiness through music and singing. They also enjoyed a special reception honoring the singers and their family members following the performance.
Town Square Sarasota member Bob Doll, whoâ€™s 86 and has Alzheimerâ€™s, participated in the Key Chorale program.
â€œIt was just wonderful,â€ said Faye Doll, Bobâ€™s wife. â€œMusic is such an important part of all of our lives, and especially for people with Alzheimerâ€™s, because they can relate to music from their past. Bob loves to sing, but he canâ€™t read music. Joseph [Caulkins] makes sure everyone can be included. It brings a lot of joy, and itâ€™s relaxing to Bob, as well.â€
In addition to its partnership with Key Chorale, Town Square Sarasota hosts other local professional arts organizations for the benefit of its members.
The Florida Studio Theatre, a Sarasota-based professional, nonprofit theater company, hosts weekly improv classes for members at the adult day center. In addition, Arts for Health Sarasota-Manatee (AFHS-M), a nonprofit focusing on advancing the integration of arts for health, is currently running a six-week program at Town Square Sarasota thatâ€™s involved members in drumming therapy, dance and other artistic expressions.
Upward Notes, a volunteer-based organization founded by Sarasota Orchestra Cellist Natalie Helms that spreads the joy and benefits of music outside of the concert hall and throughout the community, has also performed at Town Square Sarasota.
â€œFor people with Alzheimerâ€™s and other forms of dementia, music and the performing arts does something magical,â€ said Jill Grinnell, Town Square Sarasotaâ€™s Center Director. â€œIt brings smiles to our members and is a form of expression that most everyone can relate to. We so appreciate the relationships weâ€™ve built with these arts organizations and look forward to partnering with others in the future.â€
About Town Square Sarasota
Located at 3882 Central Sarasota Parkway in Sarasota, Town Square Sarasota is a senior day center focused on providing engagement and socialization for seniors challenged with the normal effects of aging, as well as those living with Alzheimerâ€™s and other forms of dementia. Town Square Sarasota offers members recreational programming in a safe environment, as well as coordinated care with outside medical providers. For more information, visit https://www.townsquare.net/sarasota/.
About Key Chorale
Key Chorale, the Suncoastâ€™s premier symphonic chorus, is dedicated to transforming lives through innovative programming, artistic excellence, educational outreach, and service to the community. Led by Joseph Caulkins, Key Chorale produces high quality collaborative musical events that engage and enrich our community. Through dynamic collaborations with The Sarasota Ballet, The Venice Symphony, The Circus Arts Conservatory, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe and more, Key Chorale is able to create unforgettable programs that continue to push the boundaries of choral music. For more information, visit www.keychorale.org, Facebook and YouTube.