Heros and Hymns

Salish Sea Players LogoOn January 23, 2014 the Salish Sea Players performed at the Foss Home on Greenwood Avenue. We have happily become regulars there but the 23rd  was our first time on the 2nd floor. Here are some of Olga’s impressions of the concert day. -lm

The concert at Foss Home today was in a somewhat smaller room than we are used to, and, despite a carpeted floor, the acoustic was delightfully warm and resonant.  Most of the audience was in wheel chairs making it difficult for them to come up and talk with us, so after we played we went into the room and mingled a bit.

Marie van Ingen and daughter at the Foss Home April 2013

Marie and daughter–Foss Home April 2013

I spoke to a woman who had lived in a family that listened to music “all the time”.  She had been 13 when her mother died of scarlet fever a day after giving birth to a baby girl. So she became a care giver at an early age, and as an adult she became a psychiatric nurse in a hospital, where the patients were routinely kept restrained with straps.  She told me that one day her supervisor was overcome with the pressure of the job and had to go on leave. While she was away my friend, knowing how the doctor felt, removed all the straps! What strength and humanity she had!

We get to meet a lot of heroes!

Olga & Monica at Merrill Gardens-Northgate

Olga & Monica at Merrill Gardens-Northgate

We didn’t learn Alex’s story, except that he plays piano, violin and harmonica (at least those three!).  A staff member told me that when she’d first met Alex, he whipped out his harmonica and played for ten minutes!  The two tunes on his mind today were “Onward! Christian Soldiers” and “Silent Night”.  It was clear he knew a thing or two (at least!), because when we improvised a bit of these tunes, he asked about the key.  He was shy about trying the harpsichord, but after the concert Linda convinced him to try it and he wheeled himself up and tried to play.  At first he didn’t get very far, but Fred suddenly realized that Alex couldn’t see well, and couldn’t tell that the colors of the keys were the reverse of what he was used to on the piano: the raised keys are light, and the C major scale is all black.  Once he understood that, he was able to play his two tunes of the day!

I love the sound of hymns on the harpsichord! 

©Olga Hauptman salishseaplayers.org  2014Donate through EMG
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A gift of joy.

The final days of 2013. It flew by with lots of great music happening including 2Salish Sea Players Logo0 concerts (21 on Dec. 31st!) by the Salish Sea Players in retirement, nursing, memory, and long term care facilities. I feel so grateful and lucky to get to perform these concerts and I believe it is important work. There are so many who have helped us to keep performing since we began almost two years ago. Thanks go to our donors, the Activities Directors who took a leap of faith to hire a group doing Baroque chamber music (what is that?), and the Early Music Guild for granting us Professional Affiliate status.

But, there is one more group of people I want to thank–the residents of all the facilities that we have performed for. It is an honor to perform for them and I feel so much joy when I play my violin for them, when I speak with them before and after a show, when I see how they respond to the music as it is being played.  What a gift!

Please join with us to keep the music playing. You can make a tax deductible donation safely online. And if you have a loved one or friend in a facility and would like to sponsor a concert let’s talk. CLinda and Mom Melstedontact us at salishseaplayers@gmail.com.

I’m sharing a photo of me and my wonderful Mom taken at the Ida Culver-Broadway last December. She is not a resident but does have friends there and attended this concert.

I wish you all a very Happy Holiday Season!!!

©Linda Melsted salishseaplayers.org  2013
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Grassroots Thank you

Groupon Grassroots ThanksThank you! Our Groupon Grassroots campaign raised $1,900! Olga, Fred, and I (Linda) are so grateful to all who have supported our Salish Sea Players project. The Grassroots campaign was a one-time experience and I want to thank the Groupon people for providing this service. 100% of the funds raised during this campaign go directly to the project. Groupon charged no fees and even absorbed the credit card costs. WoSalish Sea Players Logow.

Salish Sea Players will be booking concerts for the summer and fall making use of the Grassroots funds. I’ve already booked one Grassroots show!

Olga & Friend Fairwinds Brighton CourtEvery concert is a new experience. Our last one was at Fairwinds-Brighton Court, Olga and I playing duets,  and a livelier bunch would be hard to find.  There were great questions and observations from the audience. We were having so much fun that the concert ran over time—but nobody left! Two fellows, not string players, talked with me after the show asking about the history of violin bows and telling me what they had observed while watching me warm up (very accurate observations I might add-made me go home and practice a bit-ha)!  Many people remembered us from our Holiday program in December and had made sure they got toDonate through EMG this show. We are already looking forward to our next performance at Fairwinds-Brighton Court which is in the fall.

©Linda Melsted salishseaplayers.org 2013
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Final Day Baroque Memories-Past & Present


Today is the final day for our Groupon Grassroots campaign. This has been an amazing experience for us. When I checked our total vouchers sold this morning it was at 181—My La Conner Retirement Innfingers are crossed that we can make it to 190!! —Thank you.

Next week we will be performing at the Fairwinds-Brighton Court Retirement Home in Lynnwood and La Conner Retirement Inn in La Conner. We have performed at both of these facilities before and really enjoyed the atmosphere at both venues. For me, returning to La Conner will be extra special. We performed there a year ago—our 2nd Salish Sea Players concert. This time it will be our 33rd performance!! The wonderful activities director, B.J. Johnson, was really encouragfriends at Fairwinds-Brighton Court Dec. 2012ing and sent us this note after our first performance: “…the residents talked about your performance for days afterward, thank you for coming and good luck with your project.” Well, our project is going well thanks to all of our supporters!

Salish Sea Players Logo

Give Through Groupon

We are a Professional Affiliate of the Early Music Guild in Seattle. Thank you EMG for all your help and support.

©Linda Melsted salishseaplayers.org 2013
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Ceramics at Prestige; Grassroots


Yesterday Olga and I (Linda) performed a duo concert at Prestige Care of Edmonds. This was our third and, sad to say, last performance in this warm and friendly rehabilitation facility. They are closing in Mrs Paul Ami Bonifas and Daniel at Prestig, April 2013June because of some issues with the building. We’ve met some wonderful people there and this time was no exception.

The lovely Mrs. Bonifas (pictured here with Daniel, a staff member at Prestige) enthusiastically applauded throughout the show and stayed after to chat with Salish Sea Players Logous. She told us that as a girl in Switzerland she played the piano and was surrounded by classical music. She married quite young to the ceramic artist Paul Ami Bonifas (1893-1967) and with him came to the USA in the early 1940’s to escape the political turmoil in Europe.  In 1946 they came to Seattle so that Mr. Bonifas could establish the ceramics department at the University of Washington. Mrs. Bonifas helped her husband by preparing and applying the beautiful glazes that he used. You can see an example of his work here: Paul Bonifas French Art Deco

Give Through GrouponOur Groupon Grassroots campaign has been amazing. We are so grateful to our returning and new supporters and to Groupon Grassroots for providing this service. 100% of the funds raised go to the Salish Sea Players. Groupon Grassroots doesn’t charge a fee and absorbs all credit card costs—pretty amazing. The campaign runs for another 4-1/2 days.

©Linda Melsted salishseaplayers.org 2013



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Groupon Grassroots; Playing at the Foss Home


Wow! Groupon has just informeMarie van Ingen and daughter at the Foss Home April 2013d us that our campaign, “Baroque Memories-Past & Present”,  has been extended for another week!!  Amazing!  120 vouchers sold now.  A lot of wonderful people-YOU-are helping Salish Sea Players bring Baroque music to a wonderful audience.  Thank you.

Yesterday, Olga and I (Linda) performed at the Foss home in one of the memory care dining rooms. Before we began we walked around the room handing out programs and making contact. Some of the residents were sleeping, some couldn’t understand what was happening, and some were pleased to say hello. When we started performing there was not a lot of response but soon there was an alert, enthusiastic group listening anGive Through Groupond clapping at the end of every piece. One sweet lady kept saying “oh, that’s so pretty”.  We had so much fun playing for them.

The wonderful Activities Director at Foss Home and her staff are so loving and caring. Sometimes it’s Salish Sea Players Logohard to go into a facility like this—maybe it reminds me of our common frailty as humans—but this is exactly where the Salish Sea Players and you, our supporters, do our best work. Thank you.

The picture shows Marie van Ingen and her daughter Kathryn Libengood. Marie told me she and her sister sang in choirs when she was young and living in Toronto. A very lovely lady.

Salish Sea Players is a Professional Affiliate of the Early Music Guild

©Linda Melsted salishseaplayers.org 2013

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Day 5 Groupon Grassroots “Baroque Memories-Past & Present”


Over 90 vouchers sFred and Friends around Harpsichord-Harbour Pointe Retirementold now—WOW! Please help us get to 150 sold by letting your friends know. AND, don’t forget to redeem your voucher for a tax receipt—check out our website under “Post Concert”

In this picture Fred and the harpsichord are surrounded by audience members curious about the instrument.Groupon GrassrootsSalish Sea Players LogoThank you to all of our supporters! You are making a difference!

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Day 3 “Baroque Memories” Grassroots Campaign

Salish Sea Players Logohttp://www.groupon.com/deals/salish-sea-players

The “Baroque Memories-Past & Present” Groupon Grassroots campaign begins day 3 with over 60 vouchers sold!!! Thank you so much! Please tell your friends and family about this worthy mission—With your help we can make it to 100 vouchers! Olga & Monica at Merrill Gardens-Northgate

The picture shows Olga with Monica, a resident of Merrill Gardens at Northgate, after one of our concerts!

(Learn how to redeem those vouchers for a tax receipt!!)

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Redeem your Grassroots Vouchers!!

Salish Sea Players LogoHello and a Big THANK YOU to all our new supporters from the Groupon Grassroots “Baroque Memories-Past & Present” campaign!!

Because Groupon uses the language of buying vouchers/coupons even though you may have just made a donation, it might be a little confusing. I’ve received a few questions about how to receive a tax receipt from the Early Music Guild.

Groupon Grassroots

 –Here are  the steps:

You “bought” a voucher/coupon that doesn’t give you anything but gave $10 to the Salish Sea Players. You will receive an email from Groupon with the subject line Purchase confirmed.3 Great Ladies, Ida Culver, Ravenna

  1. In the email from Groupon read down to where it says “…or print it from My Groupon Press that link.
  2. You are now at “My Groupon” — choose to print your voucher (you don’t have to actually print it if you don’t want to) and it will download a PDF of the voucher.
  3. Take note of the voucher number in the top right hand corner. (Not the bar code) You will need it later.
  4. On the right hand side a ways down is a section called “How to USE This.” Point 2 has a link to REGISTER your donation. Clicking on that takes you to our special Groupon Grassroots Thank You page.
  5.  On the Thank You page we ask for your name, mailing address, email, voucher #, and if you want a tax receipt (make sure to check that box!!) Fill it in and click SEND. It comes to the special email account I set up for this.
  6. I will then forward the info to EMG and they will issue you a tax receipt. It might take a little time but you will receive one!!

Thank you again for supporting this mission!! Linda, Olga, and Fred

Salish Sea Players is a Professional Affiliate of the Early Music Guild
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Baroque Memories-Past & Present Launch!!

Salish Sea Players Logo The big day has arrived—our Groupon Grassroots campaign launched today and we’re currently funding a project on Groupon’s site here http://www.groupon.com/deals/salish-sea-players!

Groupon Grassroots Launch

Performing for retirement, nursing, and long-term care facilities is a passion with us. With this initiative, “Baroque Memories-Past & Present”, we hope to raise enough funds to perform at least 10 professional Baroque chamber music concerts in the greater Seattle area. These performances are special occasions for all involved and provide much needed social interaction and entertainment for the residents. We greet the residents as they enter, we talk about the music we’re performing and field questions during the show, and after the concert we talk some more about the music and about their lives-hearing their stories and memories both sweet and bittersweet. We hope these concerts help to create new memories.

“…the residents talked aboHappy Guy at Aegis of Lynnwoodut your performance for days afterward, thank you for coming…” ~ B.J. Johnson, La Conner Retirement Inn

Here’s what you can do to help out:

  1. Go to the campaign page http://www.groupon.com/deals/salish-sea-players to donate and help us reach our goal.
  2. Share campaign news and progress on Facebook and Twitter, as well as through email.

(Our “tipping point” is $300–we only need 30 people to donate $10 to reach that goal and then 100% of all funds raised goes to our mission. Thank you Groupon Grassroots!)

Again, thank you for your support!Give Through Groupon

What they’re saying:

“The Salish Sea Players are not only skilled musicians but also truly passionate about working with people.  I am a director at University House, Wallingford. It is home to many UW retirees.  The University House residents have lived a life full of music fNice crowd Aegis of Lynnwoodrom all around the world.  I have watched the Salish Sea Players perform for our retirement home and all the members of the band make a personal connection to their audience.  They are a joy and the best example of what the type of performers we like to schedule for our senior adult community.” ~Stacie Sheridan, Life Enrichment Director, University House, Wallingford

“You were fantastic! The residents so enjoyed your performance!  Yes, please do come back.” ~Cynthia Allen, Activity Director, Áegis of Bothell

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