Houston’s Orchestra On Call performed in the gardens of Houston Hospice during the Volunteer Appreciation Day on Saturday, May 2nd. The lush trees and blooming azaleas provided the perfect setting for an outdoors concert in a balmy spring afternoon. Patients, families and caregivers were all graced by the orchestral music that included a variety of styles ranging from classical to movies, including Gabriel’s Oboe from “The Mission,” Shostakovich’s Waltz No.2 and Faure’s Pavane. The mild breeze helped transport the soothing melodies into the rooms that overlook the gardens for those patients who could not be outside.
Houston’s Orchestra On Call is comprised of volunteer musicians who bring the healing power of music into different medical settings through the On Call ensembles and the Chamber Orchestra. Since its inception in 2014, HOOC has given over 50 performances in 15 institutions throughout the Texas Medical Center and the Greater Houston area, including Belmont Village Senior Care, Garden Terrace Alzheimer’s Center, Ben Taub Hospital, Nora’s Home for Transplant Patients, Shriners Hospital for Children, Texas Children’s Hospital, MD Anderson and more.
To date, over 40 musicians from the community at large have participated in the program. Student musicians from the DeBakey High School for Health Professions Orchestra have also participated in rehearsals and concerts, earning community service hours.
“Music is an art that has many proven mental and physical benefits. In our concerts we aim at programming music that will inspire, invigorate and enhance the spiritual well-being of our audiences,” said Carlos Guillermo Jung, the Artistic Director of Houston’s Orchestra On Call. “It’s such a rewarding experience to see how patients and their loved ones respond positively to our performances. Sometimes they hum the tunes along with the music or decide to share with us their fond memories triggered by a piece played during the concert.
“HOOC offers a meaningful way of giving back to the community,” he added. “When driving back from a performance, the feeling of fulfillment, of having lifted the spirits and touched the hearts and souls of those going through tough times cannot be put into words. It’s magical.”
The orchestra rehearses once a week at the Baylor College of Medicine McNair Campus. “We are currently welcoming string, woodwind and brass players,” said Carlos.
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