Unique Orchestra Marries Music, Medicine For A Clinic's Benefit
Nearly 100 doctors, faculty and medical students from different city hospitals are rehearsing for a special concert benefit performance in Manhattan for a free clinic that helps patients in need. NY1's Cheryl Wills filed the following report.
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At first glance, the newly formed "Music And Medicine Orchestra" looks like any other group of professional musicians and singers. But the performers are actually nurses, doctors, medical students, professors and residents who come from several medical institutions across New York City.
They are taking a break from their usual hospital-related duties and rehearsing at Weill Cornell Medical College on the Upper East Side for a special concert performance of Mozart's "Requiem."
Kate Vanoss, a resident at Weill Cornell, says she is thrilled to be able to break out her clarinet again.
"I've been a musician my entire life. My whole family is musical. I was actually tempted to go into music instead of medicine," says Vanoss.
David Leibowitz, a professional music director, was hired to conduct this one-of-a-kind orchestra. He says the group is quickly mastering one of Mozart's more dramatic compositions.
"The piece itself is so appropriate because it's a piece that's about healing," says Leibowitz.
"It's nice to do something where we are all in it together with a common goal," says Weill Cornell College Professor Lawrence Palmer.
That goal is to raise money for a free clinic that helps patients in need.
"The Weill Cornell free clinic is medical student-run and it's completely free for uninsured or underinsured patients in New York," says Vanoss.
It turns out to be a win-win for third year Weill Cornell medical student Jenna Devare, who has been a life-long violinist.
"We've always been told that the people in this community could make an orchestra or a chorus," says Devare. "We had the people but there wasn't really anything to bring everyone together. So this is the first time we actually made it happen."
The Music and Medicine Orchestra will perform Mozart's Requiem at St. Bartholomew's Church on Sunday October 7. To learn more, visit weill.cornell.edu/music.