Hi Everyone! Thank you so much for visiting my website and reading my first blog post. I thought I would share about a wonderful opportunity and experience I had while in graduate school.
At the Cleveland Institute of Music, we were so lucky to be right smack in the middle of a cultural hot spot. Severance Hall, The Cleveland Orchestra, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Botanical Garden, and more. Probably the most wonderful connection though, was that with Judson Manor, a retirement community. A beautiful, historic, 11-story building with a gorgeous rooftop and a spectacular view in University Circle. The building was built in 1921-22, originally as a luxury hotel, where celebrities and dignitaries such as Walt Disney and Dwight D. Eisenhower stayed! Now, it has become a retirement home, with a floor reserved for those who need more personalized and around-the-clock care.
The residents range in age from their 60s, up through 104! And YES, I lived there! During my first year of graduate school, I found out about the Artist-in-Residence Program that Judson Manor offered to Cleveland Institute of Music students. Right away, I applied, and much to my delight, I was accepted. In return for my performances, I was offered a home at no charge. For a student in graduate school, that is an amazing deal!
But to me, it was about so much more than saving money. Growing up, I was extremely close to my grandparents. They were so supportive of my playing, and in fact, one set of my grandparents bought me my first flute as a Christmas present. Unfortunately, they have all passed away. I always miss them terribly, but this was especially true in grad school, when I wished they were there to see my performances and my successes. In addition, I was many hours away from my parents.
The opportunity to forge such amazing relationships with the residents at Judson Manor is something I will never forget. I met so many people, and heard so many beautiful stories. I experienced love, and loss, with people who I would never have normally met or gotten to know. These people greeted me when I arrived back at the Manor after walking home from school in below-freezing temperatures. They hugged me, asked about my day, invited me into their homes, treated me to dinner — they loved me and treated me as their own grandchild.
The knowledge, the experience, the love, and the joy they shared with me is something that almost no graduate or college student experiences every day while away at school. This gift is one that will never go unappreciated by me.
We were lucky enough to be able to share our love and regard for one another, and for this arrangement, with CBS Evening News, the New York Times, and on Sirius XM Radio’s “American Voices with Bill Bradley” show.
Please, check out these links below, including a video from CBS ening News — and