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Memoirs set to classical music

December 2, 2015
by Nicole Stempak, Associate Editor
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Retirement community residents are narrating their stories to the tune of classical music.

The new segment, “Memoirs,” is part of the Music as Medicine series. Launched in 2012, the series aims to improve patient care and promote healing. The South Dakota Symphony Orchestra makes monthly visits to hospitals, nursing homes, behavior centers and other health care facilities in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The first performance tells the stories of Floyd Beukelman, an 87-year-old resident of Avera Prince of Peace Retirement Community. Beukelman’s memoirs will be read by Darrel Fickbohm, who assisted with the production.

“The first thing I hear from our participants is, ‘I don’t think anyone would be interested in what I’d have to remember. I’m not famous or unusual,’ Fickbohm says to Broadway World. “But some interesting things start to happen because everyone’s experiences are unique.

“There is something that happens to a person when they’ve been around long enough. They start to notice patterns in life that younger people have yet to grasp and, in a way, their experience is just like good music: it has a beginning, a middle and the inkling of what it means to end with harmony.”

The Dakota Wind Quartet will perform “Memoirs” at 2 p.m. Thursday at Avera Prince of Peace Retirement Community. The event is open to the public.

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