Laura-Music is Magic

DecSalsih Sea Players Logoember 15, 2014

Week three of our Year-end fund drive begins with a story from Laura about how she chose to play cello. To read the whole newsletter just click on this link:

Laura and Ellen Kramer

Laura and Ellen Kramer

And if you would like to join us in bringing Baroque chamber music to the long-term care communities of the greater Seattle area you can make a tax-deductible donation easily and safely online through our fiscal partner Shunpike.

Donate Now

BTW, if you prefer to send a check that’s fine too. Just make sure the check is made out to:  Salish Sea Players c/o Shunpike

The mailing address is:  Shunpike,  220 2nd Ave. South,  Seattle, WA 98104

Another way you can help is to let a friend know about us. Pass it on!

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©Linda Melsted  2014
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Olga begins violin

Salish Sea Players LogoDecember 8, 2014

We begin the 2nd week of our Year-end fund drive with a fun story from Olga about how she got started on the violin and her first concert. To read more just click the link:

Little Olga

And if you would like to join us in bringing Baroque chamber music to the long-term care communities of the greater Seattle area you can make a tax deductible donation easily and safely online through our fiscal partner Shunpike.

Donate Now

BTW, if you prefer to send a check that’s fine too. Just make sure the check is made out to:

Salish Sea Players c/o Shunpike

The mailing address is: Shunpike, 220 2nd Ave. South, Seattle, WA 98104

©Linda Melsted  2014


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Singing Hands Year-end Fund Drive

Salish Sea Players Logo

December 1, 2014

Today we begin our Year-end fund drive. We’ve had a busy year and are looking forward to the coming year. Please click the link to read our newsletter!

Please consider joining us and becoming a partner in presenting the beautiful music of the Baroque to the residents of the retirement, nursing, memory, and long-term care facilities of the Seattle area. A tax deductible donation of any size helps us to keep hands singing. Easy and safe to do on online through Shunpike, our fiscal partner.

Donate NowLinda and Olga with friends



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Fred Retires!

Fred in La Conner 2012

Fred at one of SSPlayers first concerts (La Conner, 2012)

My dear friend, colleague, and harpsichordist for Salish Sea Players has decided to retire. We’ve written a nice newsletter with lots of pictures and remininces from Fred thaSalsih Sea Players Logot made me cry. I am sad but so happy for him AND he will perform with us once in a while! Please follow the link to read the newsletter:

Join Salish Sea Players in bringing beautiful Baroque music to the residents of retirement and long-term care facilities. Your tax deductible donation (small or large) is much appreciated. Safely donate on-line with our fiscal partner Shunpike. 

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©Linda Melsted  2014

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We are powered by Shunpike!

Salsih Sea Players LogoJuly 1, 2014

Today we start our journey as a Partner Artist powered by Shunpike. We are really excited.

What is a shunpike? Here is a little history from the Shunpike website: The word “shunpike” has its origins in post-colonial New Hampshire:

“When the ‘Turnpike’ was built around 1810 or so, by the Hampton Causeway Turnpike Corporation, in Hampton Falls, NH, a toll was charged to cross it at Taylor’s River.Donate online!

Not content with the payment of a toll, some of the residents got together and built a slight bridge called the ‘Shunpike’ across the Taylor’s River, some distance west of the Turnpike bridge, where travelers and teamsters could cross without charge. This continued on until April 12, 1826, when the toll on the Turnpike was discontinued and has remained a free road to this day.” – John Holman, the Hampton, NH Library

Kind of fun!

Our first Early Music America supported concert will be on July 9th at Columbia Lutheran Home in Seattle. This will be our second performance at this Home and I am really looking forward to our return. I remember bright, shining faces and a very engaged audience. Almost all of the residents were not able to get out to a concert so it’s a real treat to have the concert come to them–and it’s a real treat to perform for them.

BTW, donating is safe and easy on-line with Shunpike.

Shunpike Logo©Linda Melsted  2014




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A Small World–Memories!

Linda and Anna Solberg Cloud Foss Home May 2014

October 14, 2014

Update to the original post:

We just learned that Anna Solberg Cloud died October 3, 2014. Here is the link to her obituary originally published in the Times: Anna Solberg Cloud

 Day 11-Salish Sea Players Celebrations Campaign 2014

On May 30, 2014 we performed at the Foss Home in Greenwood. We perform at the Foss on a regular basis for several of the Activities Directors (unit 100, unit 400, 2nd floor, etc.) and always have a good time. This particular performance was an “it’s a small world” moment and that led to some fun times sharing memories with a new friend and my Mom.

Sitting at the front table waiting for the concert to start was a lovely woman and her visiting niece. When I went to greet them and hand them a program I learned tSalish Sea Players Logohat the woman, Anna Cloud, had been a French Horn player in the Seattle Symphony Orchestra (SSO) starting in 1940–I don’t know when she retired but it must have been in the mid to late 60’s. The SSO was unusual in those days because it had several women playing in the orchestra—but to be a woman brass player!! Wow! Another woman in the orchestra during that time was Donate through EMGmy violin teacher in junior and senior high school–Karla Kantner (I think she retired in the late 60’s). I asked Anna if she had known Karla and she said, “Oh, yes, she lived on 20th!” And that house IS where I had my lessons for many years!

I went poking around on the internet the next morning and called my Mom because Anna had mentioned Ballard High which is where my Mom went to school. My Mom remembered a girl a little older than her who played horn. So she got out her Ballard High School Yearbooks and started searching. We figured out that the girl my MoNewspaper clipping Anna Solbergm remembered was Anna’s younger sister Elna (who also played horn and also joined the SSO) and that’s how I learned that Anna’s maiden name was Solberg. I found a reference to her in the Nordic Heritage Museum and found a photo from February 23, 1940 in the Western Libraries Digital Collections of several players, including Anna, from the            University of Washington—and they all played in the SSO too.

Anna was very enthusiastic about the concert we gave on Friday as were all the residents. It was a fun show with several questions thrown to us from the audience. We love that. And I love how this concert sparked memories not only for Anna and her niece, but for me and my Mom too.

Please join with us by giving a donation to the Salish Sea Players. Even a small gift helps us bring music to a beautiful audience, often sparking some sweet memories—those in retirement, nursing, memory care, and long-term care facilities! Donate safely online and receive a tax receipt from Shunpike the Early Music Guild.  Maybe your employer matches donations? Check it out!

©Linda Melsted  2014
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Celebrations Campaign Day 1

Salish Sea Players LogoMay 22, 2014–Day 1 of our Celebrations Campaign and we have a lot to celebrate! Our association with the Early Music Guild for one–for the last 2+ years we have been a Professional Affiliate of EMG which helped get us started. They’ve been fantastic and so supportive. The Professional Affiliate program provides extensive, long-term assistance for professional level “early music” endeavors in the Seattle area (normally a minimum of one year, and limited to a maximum of three years). Because of this program andFred & Olga Hauptman Dec 2012 Emeritus at Spring Estates the support from our donors and partners we will have given 58 concerts in 30 venues reaching nearly 1800 residents (March 2012-June 2014). THANK YOU!

One of my favorite quotes from Oliver Saks is “Music can lift us out of depression or move us to tears–it is a remedy, a tonic, orange juice for the ear.”  Please join us in bringing “orange juice for the ear” to the retirement and long-term care communities in the greater Seattle area by giving a tax deductible gift of any size to the Salish Sea Players. You can safely donate on-line by clicking the “Donate Now” button (you will be taken to the EMG’s Salish Sea Players page). Donate through EMG

A memory from one of our earlier Post Concert Posts: At Ida Culver House-Ravenna: A small well-dressed woman waited until after the show and I was alone to approach me. She then shared that when she was a child she would play at the feet of her brother, a violinist, as he rehearsed classical chamber music with his friends. Our performance that day had brought it all back. She began to cry because she hadn’t thought of that memory for many, many years.

The picture is one I took of Fred and Olga during a Christmas concert in December 2012 at Emeritus at Spring Estates–I missed Olga’s head but the photo shows how much fun we were having performing for this crowd!

©Linda Melsted  2014
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Salish Sea Players LogoLast night the Salish Sea Players performed at the Norse Home on Phinney Ridge. I have wanted to play a concert there for a long time. When I was much younger I would perform there quite often with various groups, and my most memorable performance, the performance that really taught me about the power of music, was on the Norse Home’s nursing floor (I’m not sure it’s there anymore). A pianist anSally Covin--My Gramsd I performed the Tchaikovsky violin concerto–I actually can’t believe that I used to perform that piece, but there you go.

But the BIG reason I wanted to perform at the Norse Home again was because that is where my little Grandma lived for the last few years of her life. They were so good to her.

My Grams came to every concert I played growing up and was so supportive and always had good observations (of course, it was always that I was wonderful!). She would say “I don’t know anything about music” but she DID. She came to the USA from Norway when she was around 14 years old—probably around 1912 or so–and went to live with some of her older siblings who had come over earlier. I’ve heard it was a musical family—her brother played violin and Grams played an instrument like the auto-harp—and they would play for dances. I think she would be happy that I came and played at the Norse Grams and Linda BDAYHome.

The Norse has been updated but it still feels the same—warm, spacious, and inviting. A beautiful wide open dining and entertainment area right when you walk in the door and the ceilings are really high. You can see the Olympic Mountains from the back part of the building. Spectacular. Our audience last night was so energetic and they asked lots and lots of great questions. I think Fred really enjoyed himself because he was slipping in a few more of his jokes than usual—the audience and I were giggling every time he stood up to speak! One of my favorite comments of the night was that the Salish Sea Players put on a very “folksy” show. I think Grams would have approved!

The first picture is of my Grams, Sally Covin,  after she had moved to the Norse Home.
The second picture is of Grams and me celebrating our birthdays together (they were two days apart)—this must have been December of 1971!!

©Linda Melsted 2014
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April 2, 2014

Salish Sea Players LogoApril 2, 2014:The Salish Sea Players performed today for the new Memory Care unit at Quail Park in Lynnwood. This is a beautiful facility and had a warm and inviting atmosphere and acoustic. We had worked with Christine, the Activities Director, almost 2 years ago when she was working at a different Memory Care Unit. She was new to Baroque music then, but immediately loved it and commented on the therapeutic effect she saw in the residents. We lost touch after she left that job (baby!!) but were thrilled when she tracked us down after starting her new position at Quail Park. I was happy to reconnect with her—her enthusiasm is infectious and it is clear how much she cares for her residents.

Today’s performance was a perfect example of why I keep doing this but in a way, it’s hard to put into words–it’s more of a feeling. The crowd was small but enthusiastic, delighted at the sound of the Baroque violins and harpsichord, cheering us on at the end of every movement, listelittle quailning intently as we spoke about the music and instruments. Maybe that doesn’t seem like a big deal—but, this was a Memory Care unit and that doesn’t always happen.

Christine told us after the show that, once again, she saw the therapeutic effect of our performance on her charges. The residents were interacting with each other and with us when normally they would not interact very much at all. One woman, who spoke in a language only she understood, stayed for the entire show when normally she would have wandered off. Even before the show she was interacting with me and Olga and after the show she wanted to touch our hands–I think she was saying thank you. (I loved her eyes). Another woman, Cora, who was 88, told me how touched she was by the concert. I helped her to the harpsichord and with great delight she played a scale. Later, with tears in her eyes, Cora spoke with Olga and told her too how touched she was by our music. (She liked Olga’s hands because they were warm!)

Sandy Sanderson, Quail Park of Lynnwood, April 2, 2014Before the show we talked to a handsome fellow, Sandy Sanderson, who was sporting a large shiny belt buckle. Turns out he had had a country-western band when he was younger man (Sandy Sanderson and the Rhythm Riders). He demonstrated his yodeling skills to the delight of all present. I invited him to yodel during the concert but he declined.

I look forward to a return engagement coming up in May.

BTW, I didn’t realize until today that the Salish Sea Players have been performing for 2 years–March 8, 2012 was our first show!! Wow! In those two years we have performed 53 performances with a lot more coming. Thanks to all of you that have helped us continue to bring Baroque chamber music to some pretty special people—to those living in long-term care facilities in the greater Seattle area.Donate through EMG

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Salish Sea Players LogoToday I got to be a part of what some would call synchronicity. I had mentioned yesterday to Olga that I really wanted to play at the Columbia Lutheran Home again (we had had such a nice experience there back in September) and today their Activities Director, Chris called. She told me that she had been talking to her co-workers yesterday and our name had come up–Chris had not been able to attend our performance in the fall due to unforeseen circumstances. She asked them–“How were the Salish Sea Players? Did our residents like them?” She told me that the response was an enthusiastic YES. The residents had loved the performance and really wanted us back again. So wonderful! And we’ll be performing there again in July.

Chris went on to tell me of another example of synchronicity in her life just a couple dSaint(Demon) Geromeays ago having to do with adopting cats, a donation of a specific amount made to a favorite facility and the shocked response from the attendant saying that that specific amount was exactly the amount they needed for a sick kitty to be properly treated. I think Chris might be one of those people that has a lot of these sorts of experiences–a very special and loving person.

A very special and loving person. We have met so many wonderful people performing in  retirement and long-term care facilities. The Activities Directors, the Care-givers, and the Volunteers are special. We see the loving care they give to the residents, looking  after them, knowing just what to say when someone’s upset, giving just the right pat on the arm when needed, helping the residents choose just the right spot to sit to enjoy the concert. I have a great respect for these people. I worked for a very short time as a Care-giver and I know how hard it can be physically but especially emotionally. Talking with Chris today made me remember yet again why I love doing these concerts! (That is my kitty Gerome in the pic!)

Donate through EMG

©Linda Melsted  2014
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