In an event to help raise money for the newly opened C.S. Mott Children’s and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, University faculty, staff and students gathered together for a musical performance for the Ann Arbor community yesterday afternoon.
The University’s Life Sciences Orchestra — a group comprised of University-affiliated professors, scientists, hospital staff and students involved in medical and science-related work — performed with guest violinist Jourdan Urbach to raise money for Mott, with the help of Gifts of Art, a program dedicated to connecting art with University healthcare.
University of Michigan Health System spokeswoman Kara Gavin, who also serves on the LSO executive board and plays French horn for the group, said though the hospital holds a concert every January, yesterday’s event in honor of the new facility has been in the works for more than a year.
She added that while the concert runs on donations from various entities, such as LSO members and local businesses, it also serves as an opportunity to raise money for the new hospital, and to fund programs like providing gas cards to families that frequently commute to the hospital.
“We’re also taking donations for Mott,” Gavin said. “Because obviously, even though the building is open, there are many programs and services that Mott offers that are donation-based.”
Prior to the show and during intermission, children were invited to partake in an “instrument petting zoo,” where they could try out different instruments with the help of volunteer musicians.
Gavin said Urbach, who travels to perform at concerts to raise money for children, first contacted LSO when he was only 13 years old. Now 19, Urbach came to play with LSO in honor of Mott, alongside accompanist pianist Karen Beluso.
The concert provided attendees with a range of music, including fox trot and tango tunes. Gavin said conductor Oriol Sans wanted the concert to have elements of a serious classical concert, while still being family-friendly.
She added that at most traditional orchestral concerts, the conductor does not address the audience, but Sans interacted with the audience to make it more fun.
“Basically it’s a really wide range in the type of music but it’s all danceable,” she said. “We expect kids to be dancing in the aisles.”