Matthew Kim, Entertainment Editor
Music is more than just simple entertainment, it also carries therapeutic effects towards people with dementia and other chronic cognitive and physical impairments. Humanitarian club members, Mariya Oskam and Hannah Kang’s passion for music caused them to raise awareness for a foundation called Music and Memory to WGSS. On January 26, 2017, they decided to take the matter into their own hands and put together an event to help boost the cause.
What is Music and Memory? Well, it’s quite scary if you lose a loved one to a form of dementia and end up alone and isolated in a nursing home. But it was discovered that when people listen to their musical favorites, it taps on deep memories that haven’t been lost yet to dementia and bring them back to socialize and stay alive. How they keep their foundation going is by collecting slightly-used iPods and money donations to make custom set music playlists for each of the people they are helping. Without the donations, it would be hard to make this foundation a success.
So what did Mariya and Hannah do? In order to both raise awareness of the foundation and possibly collect a few donations to go towards the foundation itself, both ladies, a few student volunteers and our beloved music department at WGSS set up a benefit concert in the drama room. The benefit concert featured a fantastic array of musical performances, and they weren’t all just choral performances. Some included a few solo performances from WGSS’s Vocal Jazz Group and even a performance from our recent Walnut Grove’s Got Talent winner, Jackson Mooney.
“It’s a great experience for a great cause.” David Witzke, Grade 10
The concert even included emcee speakers and a refreshments session in the middle of the concert. It was a day where not only did the audience receive awareness of this amazing foundation, but also to sit back and enjoy the music that has been prepared for them. The lights, the ambiance and the fine-tuned sound adjustments all added to the success the performances that day.
“I loved seeing all the performers sing with passion and most all the smiles made the performances so warm and welcoming.” Hannah Kang, Grade 12
As the day neared to a close, the audience was given one final performance by the whole Vocal Jazz group. All on mics, with a rhythm section, it was a great ending for the night. With the power of music, we all have the opportunity to save lives that have been lost to dementia. Cheers!