“Connecting people like my mother who lives with Alzheimers with TSO musicians is absolutely transformative in our lives. I want to spread the word so more people like my mother can have this wonderful experience. It needs all the support it can get!” These impassioned words came from a grateful daughter whose mother has weekly performances and discussion with a TSO musician, part of collaboration with Alzheimer Society of Peel. This program, and many others, are possible in part because of philanthropic donations to the TSO.
This is just one initiative that the TSO has embarked on this year to bring music to the community—in this case, isolated seniors. Other partners include YMCA of Greater Toronto, The Chinese Community Centre and Baycrest Centre. Funds raised from the TSO Annual Campaign also support other vital needs including education, training and producing virtual and live concerts.
Recognizing the intensity of need to support these types of programs as well as virtual concerts for TSO patrons and school classrooms, long-time supporters Francine and Bob Barrett have made a generous offer of matching any donation to the TSO’s Annual Fund. Inspired by the Barrett Family’s gift, an anonymous donor has stepped forward to join the match, tripling the value of each individual donation until June 30.
“From the very beginning of the pandemic, it’s been our priority to be of service to our community. Donations have made everything we‘ve done this past season possible,” says CEO Matthew Loden.
As a daughter and full-time caregiver of a mother who is affected by Alzheimers, having the experience of live musicians and these marvelous mini-concerts was truly a gift. I would dress my Mom up and we would pretend that we were going to an actual concert. When I told her that the musician would be performing a private concert, she cried and exclaimed, “They are doing this for ME?” As the concert progressed, her awareness became enhanced, so much so that afterwards we would phone the important people in her life because she was more attentive. Every week it was wonderful to just sit and watch my mother come alive.
I would like to thank the Toronto Symphony musicians from the bottom of my heart. They have given me the opportunity to catch glimpses of the mother I once knew.”
—Dianna, whose mother Eveline participates in a program in partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Peel