Shaking maracas, tambourines and bells, several children danced around the DVCC Stamford office Idea Zone, while their mothers clapped in time to the Hokey Pokey being strummed by guitarist Charles Monaco on December 13th. Interspersing holiday tunes with well-known children's songs, Monaco encouraged the youngsters to dance, sing and play their instruments.
"Keep the beat, keep the beat," he cried as one little boy vigorously shook his maraca.
One evening a month the 777 Summer Street office is transformed into a concert hall of sorts, thanks to Music For All Seasons, a program that brings live musical performances to people who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to attend concerts. The music events are performed for DVCC SafeHouse residents and other clients who wish to attend. Last month, participants enjoyed a beautiful recital by harpist Diane Michaels, who appealed toadults and children alike.
"It was so stunning and so sophisticated," said O.J. Beaudoin, a DVCC Counselor Advocate. "I was so impressed with the kids because they were really interested in what she was doing and they really listened."
Michaels played waltzes, songs from Beauty and the Beast, and even a Lady Gaga song, among other tunes.
According to their website, Music For All Seasons "fosters human interaction and healing through the art of live musical performance for people who, for health, economic or social reasons, are unable to attend concerts." The non-profit organization presents musical performances in a wide range of venues, including children's hospitals, retirement facilities, juvenile detention centers, domestic violence shelters, nursing homes, medical centers, halfway houses and prisons.
One client, who struggled through rush hour traffic to bring her two daughters to the performance, said it was worth the effort.
"I was tired, I had a lousy day and I didn't really want to come," she said. "But it was great."