If attending the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra Home for the Holidays Christmas Concert was not on the “listening” minds of the Baton Rouge community, then shame on those who did not enjoy and participate in the lovely gift of the holiday season that the Symphony bestows each year.

Through the collaborative efforts with the “Arts in Alzheimer’s: Fall into Music” program, the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra was kind enough to extend complimentary tickets to Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area, including tickets to our caregivers and their loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease. We had reserved seating at the Sunday matinee performance.

It would be such an understatement to express that our families truly enjoyed the holiday musical performance by the orchestra musicians, members of the chorus, quartet members, vocalists and even the storytelling, narrated by Dan Borne.

Music for individuals with Alzheimer’s is a universal language, per se, in that the individuals, even with the debilitating effects of decreased memory with the disease, can retain the ability to remember past songs or even play music.

I watched our caregivers and their loved ones nod and smile at old familiar Christmas tunes and join in for the closing sing-along.

I can only imagine the host of emotions and memories this extraordinary music awakened in our guests.

They left with a holiday spirit and contentment, and though those with Alzheimer’s probably will not remember the event, the joy in the present moment they experienced will garner memories for their families and friends to hold for years to come.

Moreover, the venue and staff were so “dementia-friendly” that the families and their loved ones remained at ease and comfortable.

In the setting that day, there were no individuals labeled with a disease; they were all just attendees for an amazing musical matinee.

Alzheimer’s Services thanks the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra and Chorus; Dr. Timothy Muffit; David Torns; Cary Byrd, David Shaler and Scott Miller, and all those musicians and vocalists involved in this holiday program, in addition to the sponsorship of Investar Bank, for not only the generosity of the tickets, but also for hosting an incomparable performance that brought the true meaning of Christmas to our community.

The Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra membership should be on everyone’s list of holiday wishes. The Home for the Holidays concert was a very special gift to those who would probably otherwise not have had such opportunities.

Thank you, BRSO.

Dana Territo

director of services, Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area

Baton Rouge