Charlotte, North Carolina
For nearly 20 years, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra (CSO) has reached out beyond the traditional music main stage, to bring professional musicians to individuals living with early to mid-stage Alzheimer’s and dementia. In the last two years they have strengthened their efforts to focus more fully on reaching underserved communities.
Ever evolving, the CSO has incorporated the latest research and has served as a study subject for the Charlotte-based Queens University study (Music Therapy program), tailoring their concerts and interactive intentional music selections to positively affect mood, interpersonal relationships, and even some demonstrated improvement in cognitive functioning for both the individual living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.
Last year the CSO presented 24 Healing Hands programs and plans for at least 22 programs this year. Healing Hands is the only program in North Carolina to bring the level of full string orchestra performances to seniors living with dementia, and particularly to those with lifelong limited access to main stage performances due to economic, ethnic or cultural barriers.