As an instrumentalist at Walnut Hill, there are many chances to perform. Between solo recitals, chamber concerts, and performances with New England Conservatory Prep, our young musicians are no strangers to the stage; but this November, a number of them participated in something totally new.
On November 9, eleven students spent a Saturday afternoon performing music for a Service of Remembrance hosted by Care Dimensions, one of the largest organizations providing hospice services in the area.
“The service was a wonderful opportunity for our young artists to see for themselves the connecting power of music, and to know how important music can be for people in times of sorrow, reflection and healing,” said Walnut Hill’s Director of Chamber Music Laura Thielke.
In preparation, one of Care Dimensions’ Bereavement Counselors, Walnut Hill alumna Emily Hatch ’07 talked with the student performers about her work at Care Dimensions, the topic of grief, the healing power of music, and the field of music therapy. “Music is strongly associated with memories,” she explained, “and sometimes when words don’t suffice, music can articulate feelings of grief even more effectively.” Having a chance to hear from Hatch, allowed Walnut Hill musicians to appreciate a totally different application of their art.
“It was amazing to see how the audience reacted to the music we were playing for them,” shared violinist Caroline Joyner ’15. “-while some were crying quietly, it seemed more as if they were remembering and honoring a memory rather than actively or painfully mourning. It was moving to see how the art that we created and shared was able to act as a bridge in that way.”
The performance brought fulfillment to our musicians and comfort to attendees—a fitting way to embody the Walnut Hill motto Non nobis solum.
Walnut Hill School for the Arts (boarding/day, grades 9-12) offers expert arts training and a rigorous college preparatory curriculum. Learn more at: www.walnuthillarts.org.