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Audience members enjoy a concert in Staples Family Music Hall

Reaching out through music

Students in the School of Music connect with Isabella County residents

Contact: Emily Stulz

​Central Michigan University's School of Music is harmonizing with the community just as Lon Morey, president of the Morey Foundation, wanted.

CMU student musicians recently performed for residents of assisted living facilities in Isabella County through the annual Morey Senior Outreach Concert.

"It's about bringing music to our community, but also bringing our community to the Music Building on campus," said Kristin Pagels, director of music events.

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Attendees enjoy a dessert reception after enjoying the afternoon concert.

The start of something great

In 2005, Morey attended the School of Music's Opus concert. Impressed by the professionalism, "Morey immediately wanted to make sure others in the community were able to enjoy the work of our students," Pagels said.

The Morey Foundation donated $35,000 to create the Day of Caring: Encore Presentation reception and concert for residents of assisted living facilities in Isabella Country.

Beginning in 2006, the Day of Caring brought student performers from Opus together with other CMU musical groups to create a performance the entire community could enjoy.

In 2015, the Da Capo performance replaced the Opus concert and the Day of Caring performance transformed into the Morey Senior Outreach Concert.

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Chamber singers perform during the Morey Senior Outreach Concert on Sept. 23. See more scenes from the concert.

Creating connections across the community

More than 130 people attended this year's concert, enjoying an afternoon of music, conversation and dessert.

To make sure that everyone who is interested is able to attend, the School of Music partners with iRide transportation.

Attendees aren't the only people who benefit from the event.

"It is a unique learning experience for our students to cater to our guests' needs and to spend some time in conversation," said Eric Tucker, School of Music faculty member. "Students come to the realization that we're all in this together and that basic kindness, decency and compassion supersedes generational gaps."

"Being able to converse with an older generation is truly humbling," said Darian Bird, a junior double majoring in political science and music from Detroit, Michigan.

"For the nine months that I am at CMU, this is my home, and Isabella County residents are family."

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