Anne Nash had an idea. What if music students from Concordia could perform for area residents at the Eventide senior living community in a low-stress environment? Even better, what if students could perform for Eventide residents while learning management skills as well?
This month, Concordia music students performed at Eventide and have another performance planned for 2 p.m. on March 16.
The first performance was titled “Concordia at Eventide” and was in early February. It featured singers and instrumentalists. The event was an idea originally planned by Nash, who is a first year voice instructor at Concordia.
“I thought of a way that students could be responsibly engaged in the world,” Nash said. “What a better idea than to perform at Eventide so we can practice what the college preaches.”
Amongst all of the faculty and student recitals at Concordia, it is hard for non-music majors to find additional performance opportunities. Nash said that the Eventide project was a low-pressure way for non-performance and non-music majors to get another shot at performing.
Many Concordia students performed at the show. Sophomore Aimee Mellenbruch sang “Pie Jesu” from Fauré’s “Requiem.” She said that the audience greatly appreciated the concert.
“It was nice to be in a performance where the audience is non-judgmental,” Mellenbruch said. “The low-pressure atmosphere helped me out because I usually get nervous with a performance.”
Mellenbruch said she is a lot more nervous for her jury, which is a performance-based test at the end of the semester and is in front of the voice faculty. The Eventide performance gave her a chance to perform for a welcoming audience. She said she enjoyed the performance and would do it again if given the opportunity.
Nash said that she was glad to see that students were so integrated with the residents of Eventide during the performance.
“I saw students that weren’t even performing in the show and that were there purely to watch,” Nash said. “They were talking with the residents and actually getting to know them. That was very heartwarming.”
Now that the first performance is over, Nash said that she hopes to expand the entire idea of performing in the community. She wants art and music students to collaborate with the business school to create an arts management and administration course. She believes that real world experience with non-profit performances and management are necessary to succeed.
“There is a need for arts in the community,” Nash said. “Students need to understand the business behind the concert and a non-profit can do so much to gain that knowledge.”
The class that Nash wants to create would focus on students doing the work to make a show happen. Nash believes that it is important for students to learn how to write grants, manage artists and write business proposals.
While she has not officially proposed the course, Nash said that within the next couple of years the class could be offered to students.
Nash encouraged her studio of voice students to perform another show for Eventide residents later this month.
So far, she said that there have been a variety of acts signed up, including various singers and a flute quartet, but she is still encouraging more students to join in.
The root of the Eventide project is to give back to the community and, for Nash, that is one of the most important parts.
“Sharing the gifts that you have is really what is important,” Nash said. “At Concordia, you give back what you get, and that is what this is all about.”