Jeanne Wurster plays the piano as April Wu plays the violin at the Haven Hospice E.T. York Care Center on July 7 to honor their violin teacher.
Music Fills the Haven Hospice E.T. York Care Center
in Honor of Violin Teacher
Gainesville, Florida (July 9, 2014)—The Haven Hospice E.T. York Care Center echoed with soft notes from Jeanne Wurster and April Wu who honored the four-year anniversary of their violin teacher’s passing by playing the violin and piano on July 7.
The violin teacher, who was cared for at the E.T. York Care Center, began teaching Wurster and Wu in 2002.
“She always encouraged us to go out to nursing homes and other facilities to play for patients,” said Wurster who plays the piano and the violin. “She supported us even when she could not go with us anymore, and she always wanted to hear a detailed story when we got back.”
For more than hour, Wurster and Wu played a set that included “Long, Long Ago” by T.H. Bayly, “Minuet in G” by J.S. Bach, “Embraceable You” by G. Gershwin, and “Dream” by J. Mercer.
“We didn’t have recitals, but we had play-ins at local churches every six weeks,” said Wu who was in middle school when she began playing the violin. “When I started I was very shy and quiet, but she made us smile, state our piece and start playing. That really helped me be more assertive and develop as a player.”
As the duo played, a patient was brought in to the family room of the E.T. York Care Center to enjoy the music.
“Music provides a release and you can hear that emotion. It’s a beautiful way to connect,” said Wu who started volunteering for Haven Hospice in 2010 through the University of Florida student organization Gators for Haven Hospice. “We get to share our love of the violin and see the impact it has on the patients and families.”
As the patient returned to his room, he blew kisses to Wurster and Wu.
“Music can connect people when words fail,” said Wurster. “It’s a final goodbye and encouragement to the survivors that life goes on.”
In addition to honoring their violin teacher, they were also honoring the life of her son who was also cared for at the E.T. York Care Center.
As a volunteer, Wu would play her violin for an in-home patient and ended the set with “Meditation” from Thaïs
by J. Massenet. In keeping with that tradition, Wu closed out their time playing for Haven with the tranquil sounds of “Meditation.”