On January 17th Olga and I performed for the Merrill Gardens-Northgate crowd (the very first Merrill Gardens facility) as part of their 20th anniversary celebrations. All the Merrill Gardens facilities took part at the same time around the country and even in Shanghai!! There was a celebratory video, cake and Champagne, and a crowning of a King and Queen for the day (the two residents that have lived at Merrill Gardens-Northgate the longest-both moving in in 1995). It was a great party!
It was not our usual concert format—at first there was a lot of commotion—(well, Champagne was flowing!). Olga and I started playing, talking only a little, and then noticed that there was a growing group of residents gathering closer to us so that they could hear us better. After the first hour we took a short break and gabbed with several of the people while the amazing Sandra Walker (Merrill Gardens-Northgate Activities Director) played at the piano. Then we jumped into our second hour.
The room was quiet for that second hour of our concert and we had quite a crowd. We had fun sharing with them about the music and our instruments and one resident heard us from the hall and joined the audience (we were told he NEVER comes to any event) which made me feel very happy. I felt a little sad when it was time to say Good-bye but glad that the SSPlayers got to be a part of this celebration!