Meet Ann Girard (front left in the photo), a Center for Musical Arts student since fall 2018. Ann is currently enrolled in Broadway Boomers, Jazz for Singers, and oboe lessons.
The oboe “chose” Ann shortly after she retired from a very busy business that she built herself, providing caregiving services for elders. Ann has been a licensed physical therapist for over 40 years; seeing the need for assistance within the aging community to maintain independent living, Ann began Safe at Home Care in 1999.
When she retired last year, Ann decided to fill her new free time with music. Her inspiration for moving forward with oboe lessons is “Gabriel’s Oboe,” featured in the soundtrack from the movie The Mission. (Here’s a version you might enjoy: bit.ly/missionoboe).
The Center’s Student Services staff first met Ann when she stopped by the office and signed up for oboe lessons. She came back the next day and enrolled in Broadway Boomers. And a few days later, her partner Kay enrolled.
“What?! Sing a solo onstage? Me?! I was scared, but I knew I had to do it and I knew I could do it,” Ann told us. “I almost backed out. But that secret part of me always wanted to do something like this and then I did.”
Ann explains that the Boomers are part of the culture at the Center. Members find themselves and each other through the music, and they’ve built a community that has grown over a decade. “The Boomers are a family,” Ann says. “And [Director of Broadway Boomers] Faye [Nepon] is brilliant.”
When asked why she has become so active at the Center in such a short time, Ann responds very quickly. “Making music is a soul space, a heart place that personally fills my soul, and brings happiness and joy. Even when it’s scary,” she laughs. She goes on to share that she thinks that there is enormous value in “older people” making music. It brings purpose, fun, connection, and “diving boards to jump off. [The Center for Musical Arts] is a magical space to be in.”
Ann is co-chairing Crescendo!, the Center’s annual fundraising event, partly because she is so invested in the Center for Musical Arts, and partly “because I can.” We thank you so much, Ann, and celebrate you and your music-making!