One of WASO’s Music For The Ages concerts this year created a rare memorable moment for a very special attendee.

The concert was held at Amana Living Frederick Guest Hostel in October. To a crowd of 53 people, WASO’s string quartet, comprised of Rebecca Glorie (violin), Cerys Tooby (violin), Rachael Kirk (violia) and Fotis Skordas (cello), performed works by Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin, alongside crowd favourites including Gershwin’s Summertime and Bach’s Air on the G String.

Each of the four musicians shared personal anecdotes with the crowd, including their experiences of playing in an orchestra, tales about how the quartet has been playing together for over 10 years, and some insight into the pieces that were played.

L to R: Rebecca Glorie, Cerys Tooby, Rachael Kirk and Fotis Skordas perform at Amana Living Frederick Guest Hostel.

For two attendees in particular, the performance was one to remember, and a moving example of the power of music.

A resident at the nursing home, Margaret celebrated her 80th birthday this year. Margaret’s granddaughter Deanna joined the residents for the concert, and told us that the performance marked a truly special moment for Margaret.

“My grandad passed away in May of this year and my grandma has dementia and is unable to form short term memories. She seems to have an awareness that he is no longer here but has not really talked about him since his passing. The morning after the performance and celebrations, my mum went to visit her. She does not recall the morning tea or the family being there but she said to my mum “I think I saw music yesterday, it was beautiful. Fred would have loved it.”

“This is the first short term memory she has created in quite some time! Over the days that followed she also got her photo albums out with mum and looked over the travels that she and Grandad shared. There were lots of tears, both happy and sad, but I think she actually grieved, something she had not really done either because of the dementia or because she was not ready (we will never know). In any case, the music broke through her dementia and reached to her.

“The gift you and the quartet gave my family of creating a new memory for my grandma and reaching through to her is something my family and I will forever be grateful for. Music truly is incredible.”

Deanna, Margaret and their family at WASO’s Music For Ages concert