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Eyes and Ears of the Spirit Recap

Eyes and Ears of the Spirit

Click on the photo above to see more photos from the day's event.

This past Sunday, the Mary Pappert School of Music and St. Mary of the Mount Parish hosted the final installment in this year's Music on the Mount series. The event, titled Eyes and Ears of the Spirit, was the culmination of a week's worth of clinics featuring guests Alice-Ann Darrow and Julie Novak. Both are experts in the field of working with those who have vision loss or are deaf/hard-of-hearing. Their combined efforts led to a wonderful afternoon for all in attendance.

Eyes and Ears of the Spirit was not what one would think of as a traditional "concert." Rather than performances by musicians, the event was structured to provide those who hear well with various ways to understand how those who do not hear well experience music. American Sign Language was understandably a large component of that concept. However, other methods were presented that are not necessarily as immediately apparent. For example, balloons were handed out, and concert attendees were encouraged to place their hands on the balloons while organ music with deep registration was performed. The balloons vibrated to the music, making the music tactile. Other examples included visualizations of music, ensemble signing, and dance - each designed to provide a different way of interpreting music when hearing is factored out.

The afternoon's event concluded with several members of St. Mary of the Mount's deaf choir recounting their personal experiences as members of the choir. They each took to the altar to share, via sign language voiced by an interpreter, what it meant to them to be a member of that community.

All of us at the Mary Pappert School of Music wish to thank everyone involved in making this past week a great success:
• Alice-Ann Darrow, Irvin Cooper Professor of Music Therapy, Florida State University
• Julie Novak, Music Educator/Music Therapist, Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind
• Fr. Michael Stumpf, Pastor, St. Mary of the Mount Parish
• Fr. Walt Rydzon, Pastor of the Deaf Community, St. Mary of the Mount Parish
• Amanda Plazek Bruce, Director of Music Ministry, St. Mary of the Mount Parish
• Michael Bobanic, President of the Deaf Council, St. Mary of the Mount Parish
• Ruth Auld, Executive Director, DePaul School for Hearing & Speech
• Marybeth Lauderdale, Director, Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf
• Donald Mazreku, Elementary Principal, Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf
• Seth Beckman, Dean, Mary Pappert School of Music
• Paul Doerksen, Chair of Music Education and Music Therapy, Mary Pappert School of Music
• Elaine Abbott, Director of Music Therapy, Mary Pappert School of Music
• Linda Sanders, Adjunct Professor, Music Therapy, Mary Pappert School of Music
• Rachel Whitcomb, Associate Professor, Music Education, Mary Pappert School of Music

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