In Saturday’s (5/4) News & Observer (Charlotte, North Carolina), David Menconi writes, “Several years after Shannon O’Connor started taking violin lessons, her teacher sat her down to talk about long-term goals. O’Connor was not yet 10 years old, growing up in Montana. But her ability was already apparent to her teacher. ‘She told me, “You’re great, you’re wonderful, you could do this,” ’ O’Connor recalled. “‘Or you could cure cancer.” I wanted to go the cure-cancer route.’ So O’Connor went in the direction of medicine as she progressed through school, and she’s now a graduate student in biomedical engineering at Duke University. … But then O’Connor found the Duke Medicine Orchestra, a group predicated on striking a balance between music and high-pressure medicine. O’Connor was among the first to join when the orchestra started in 2010, rising to first violinist and concertmaster. … Duke Medicine Orchestra formed under the auspices of the university’s Health Arts Network and Multicultural Resource Center. Modeled after the University of Michigan’s Life Sciences Orchestra and the Longwood Symphony Orchestra in Boston, it’s open to anyone connected to the Duke health system (which includes the medical school, nursing school and Global Health Institute as well as the hospital). The group started with about 30 members, a number that has grown to more than 80 from several dozen departments across Duke’s health system.”

Posted May 6, 2013