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Marquette Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Music for Marquette Initiative’ brings music to seniors

The initiative is bringing live, professional, trained solo musical performances to people unable to see their loved ones.
Marquette Symphony Orchestra performing for isolated seniors
Published: Feb. 11, 2021 at 5:46 PM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - In December, the Marquette Symphony Orchestra raised nearly $5,000 through Giving Tuesday to jumpstart the Music for Marquette Initiative, bringing live, professional, trained solo musical performances to seniors who can’t have in-person visitors during the pandemic.

“I just know that playing music for somebody can really bring some joy to their day and maybe put a smile on their face,” Maija Niemi, a member of the Marquette Symphony Orchestra, said.

Sessions - like one Thursday for a Brookridge Heights resident - are 30 minutes long, but connections are made with more than music during that time.

“That time includes everything. So, kind of meeting the person and getting to know who they are. Maybe where they’re from and a little bit more about their background, and I like to share a little bit about myself too,” she said.

Each virtual session supports the symphony with a $50 donation, and although musicians can be paid, many opt out and do it voluntarily.

“I don’t even want to be paid for it. It’s not really about the money at all. I just really like sharing music with people.”

To Niemi, she says the Music for Marquette Initiative means a lot to not just her, but residents in the long-term care facilities who are unable to see their loved ones.

“I saw her smile and I saw her smile grow and you know, at times she kind of swaying or kind of nodding her head or she was clapping and it’s just really nice to see that person and the little bit of joy that it brings.”

To support future virtual visits, you can visit the Marquette Symphony Orchestra website to make a donation.

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