Bangor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
By Diane Kern
One hot July afternoon folks gathered in a communal dining room. A strong, cool breeze brought the scent of flowers indoors and you could enjoy the swaying of the trees seen through the open windows. The trees could have been swaying to the strains of the Acadia Brass Quartet performing for the residents of the Bangor Nursing and Rehabilitation enter that afternoon.
Lori Wingo and Bill Whitener-trumpet, Wanda Whitener-horn and Jim Trembley-rombone, members of the Bangor Symphony, were here to share an hour of music as part of the MUSE program sponsored by The Maine Center on Aging and the Bangor Symphony Orchestra. Residents tapped their toes and clapped their hands to marches, rags, classical works and popular tunes from Broadway. Everyone learned a little bit about how brass instruments work and why the horn player kept taking her instrument apart.
At one point a bright yellow, squeaky, bathtub toy provided accompaniment to one of the numbers. Yes, it was Rubber Ducky of Sesame Street fame, a favorite tune of both the young and the old. And much to everyone's amusement, there was even a little jitterbug done by the symphony coordinator and activities director of BNRC to Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.
The music echoed down the halls and attracted more people as the concert progressed. Some people listened outdoors, on the patio, as the melodies wafted on the breeze. Others listened indoors. But with a number of musicians among the several dozen audience members, it was no surprise that the closing number, God Bless America , turned into a sing along. What a pleasant way to spend a lazy summer afternoon…
An American Classic
A beautiful terra cotta atrium housed our fourth MUSE event on March 26 th, 2004 at Freeses Assisted Living Center in downtown Bangor . The light was dim, but the music of the Acadia Brass Quartet created enough energy to light up the entire city. Classic American music such as the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company “B” had toes tapping and memories swimming and the sing along songs of America the Beautiful and the Beatles’ When I’m Sixty Four left an indescribable lightness in everyone’s heart. Quartet members, Bill Whitener on Trumpet, Wanda Whitener on French Horn, Laurie Wingo on trumpet and Jim Trembley on Trombone led the evening effortlessly. Bill’s fingers moving so quickly during Carnival of Venice that you could hardly see them and Lori’s entertaining commentary on the music had the one hour event feel like nothing. But, when the music was over and the quartet had given their final bows, you knew that you had just participated in something special. Music truly is a vessel of unity and peace.