DOWNEY - Headlines in a recent L.A. Times caught the eye: "Live music eases veterans' ills." "Patients at Fresno's VA hospital grow calmer while they wait.""The hospital set out to provide simple distraction," the article reported, "but soon doctors noticed a marked improvement in many of their patients," who became notably calmer in the presence of live music played by a harpist or classical guitarist in the waiting room. Similar results from recorded music? No. A psychiatrist who treats disorders in veterans said, "...when we have live music that day, they come to me far more relaxed. It's like an amazing miracle, and I don't say that lightly." Does that make you wonder? Maybe we take lightly the nourishment of fine, live music in our own community. Maybe we don't take advantage of the chance to savor it and benefit from it. Well, the good news is that health-giving classical music performance exists in Downey throughout the year, and in fact - lucky you - comes to our comfortable theater Saturday evening, with a gorgeous concert presented by the strings of the Downey Symphony. The program includes a short work by Antonio Vivaldi (an accessible guy), two hummable tunes by Percy Grainger (one is "Danny Boy"), Dvorak's "Serenade" which will melt your heart, and Mozart's 4th Violin Concerto with the young Korean prize-winning violinist, Youjin Lee. Don't be put off by words like "Mozart" or "Dvorak" or "concerto." These are friendly words, and if you're not at ease with them yet, come to the concert anyway. You'll soon be on cordial terms. [It's Mot-zart, Duh-vor-zhak and con-chair-to. Easy, see?] Music Director Sharon Lavery says, "I am so pleased to have the opportunity to showcase our talented string section in this concert, 'Strings Spectacular.' With the exception of the violin concerto, every piece will feature them and make them truly shine!" This performance on Saturday, Jan. 28, begins at 8 p.m. in Downey's Theatre, at 8435 Firestone Blvd., and parking is free. Tickets available at the box office are $30, $25 and $10 for those with student ID. Conductor Lavery will give an ear-opening discussion of the evening's music at 7:15. For further information, visit downeysymphony.org. Or simply be in the audience. You will leave relaxed and probably humming "Danny Boy."
********** Published: January 26, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 41