“A cacophony of sound greets you as you enter the Buchanan Centre, home of Parkinson Alberta,” writes Emily Fitzpatrick on Tuesday (11/22) at the CBC/Radio Canada website. “Together a group of people are making music as part of a pilot project. The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and Parkinson Alberta teamed up for five weeks, pairing musicians with people who haven’t picked up an instrument in a long time.… Vaughn Atkinson, a former elementary music teacher, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease…. ‘We have many people with Parkinson’s who were instrumentalists and this is a way for them to … still have a full and varied life,’ Atkinson said…. The program combines music, movement, and music improvisation led by Edmonton Symphony Orchestra Composer-in-Residence John McPherson and staff of the Winspear Centre for Music.” Says Parkinson Alberta spokesperson Brandi LeBonte, “One of the things we hear from our clients … is … ‘I used to be a musician, I used to be an athlete, I used to be an artist…. We really try [to] remind them there is no used to be, you still are. Parkinson’s disease is what you have, it is not who you are.”

Posted November 22, 2016