Musicians Aiding Seniors in Quarantine
MASQ: Social Music at a Social Distance
Music heals those who need it most.
In the spring of 2020, when the pandemic had just begun, seniors were being hit the hardest. For months, residents of senior living communities stayed isolated in their rooms, unable to see or speak with their neighbors. At the same time, artists found it nearly impossible to create and commune in our usual ways.
Thus, in an effort to bring relief to both seniors and musicians alike, I created MASQ—short for Musicians Aiding Seniors in Quarantine—and set up a June 2020 concert series in the Chicagoland area entitled Social Music at a Social Distance.
MASQ brought joy to seniors all over Chicago.
In both June and August of 2020, MASQ brought then-out-of-work musicians to perform at 10 communities for the aging in and around Chicago, housing a total of over 1100 residents. We played at a diverse range of senior living communities, including memory care units and nursing homes where COVID had taken many lives.
The music was a healing force, and it came from the era of our audiences: classics like "Moon River," "Stardust," "You Are My Sunshine," and "Mack the Knife" filled the sets. Chicago's top musicians participated in the shows, including Greg Ward, Matt Ulery, Marlene Rosenberg, Rajiv Halim, John Tate, and Geoff Bradfield. Our efforts were documented in this feature article published in the Chicago Tribune.
Our mission continues.
The musicians from MASQ loved performing concerts that brought seniors together. Thankfully, we're no longer in quarantine. However, under different titles, we happily perform music that older generations remember fondly from their youth.
Send a message if you'd like to get in touch.