Volunteer musician Laura Gilmore brings generations together for recital at village
A year ago while running her own music studio in Yellowknife, Laura Gilmore sought the right venue to host a music recital. She needed a hall and a piano, and the city’s lone retirement community had everything she needed, along with something she hadn’t anticipated.
|Riverside Glen resident Dorothy Coates was a guest performer during a music recital at the village that brought generations together.|
“I invited the residents to attend and then realized afterward that holding the recital there was so much more than simply a venue,” she says. “It brought entertainment to people who are such appreciators of music, yet often unable to get out to attend concerts.”
When she moved back to Guelph to open a studio, Laura knew the Village of Riverside Glen was the only place she wanted to be when the time came to showcase the talents of her young students.
When she brought performers together June 17, the age range spanned nine decades.
“I have been so blessed sharing music with the residents here as a volunteer that I wanted to bring my students to be a part of it,” Laura says.
In her time at the village she’d formed a friendship with 90-year-old resident Dorothy Coates, who’s had a long connection to musical performance throughout her life.
Laura invited her to be a guest performer.
In sharing an afternoon of music with residents, team members and families, Laura’s hope was that her students would see how sharing their gifts with others can bring much joy and that Dorothy would inspire them to see that music can enrich lives, no matter what age.
“Through this universal language of music, Laura has brought generations together through her recent studio recital,” explains volunteer co-ordinator Kim Cusimano.
“This venue brought not only vast ages together but also community connection, all for the love of music; that is brilliant.”
As Dorothy considered the opportunity she was given to perform, she says it was a beautiful reminder of her love and passion for music.
“For me, it was just like the years had rolled away,” she says. “It was very refreshing.”
For her passion, spirit and dedication to the residents of Riverside Glen, Laura was recently recognized with the Ontario Long Term Care Association Circle of Excellence Certificate.
Her contributions and feelings about volunteering have also been showcased in the 2012 Volunteer Centre of Guelph-Wellington Film Project by local filmmaker Ed Mochrie of Sum Pi Films Productions Media.
Many thanks to Kim Cusimano for her help putting this article together.
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