“On a recent afternoon, passersby slowed their pace, drawn to the sight of unusual object added to the space—an elegant harp—and the richly resonant sound emerging from it” at Broadmead, a retirement community in Cockeysville, Maryland, writes Tim Smith in Friday’s (10/7) Baltimore Sun. “Since midsummer, [Peggy] Houng has lived at Broadmead as a participant in the Peabody Institute Musician-in-Residence project. In exchange for free housing, she gives two performances and three open practice sessions each week. The harpist, who is working on her Graduate Performance Diploma at Peabody, also plays for residents unable to leave their rooms. Keeping a similar schedule at another senior living facility is classical guitarist and composer Julien Xuereb, the first of Peabody’s two musicians-in-residence…. Xuereb … received one of the Dean’s Incentive Grants—awarded to student- or faculty-generated projects by [Peabody Dean Fred] Bronstein—to expand the residence program.” Broadmead resident Penny Partlow says of Houng’s sessions, “I luxuriate in listening to her.… I love listening to the harp. It may be the closest to heaven I’ll ever get.” Other music institutions with intergenerational programs linking retirees and young musicians include the Cleveland Institute of Music, which instituted a program in 2010.

Posted October 11, 2016