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Making Sweet Music
Doctors Orchestrate Benefit to Help Talented Young Musicians

By: KELLY PRICE

ming wang

Medicine and music, Nashville’s two signature industries, will come together this spring to benefit one of the city’s most unique charities. Nashville Medical News and the Steinway Piano Gallery will sponsor Healing Hands at
Steinway, a reception and recital to benefit the W. O. Smith Music School.

The evening will take place May 1, wine and hors d’oeuvres reception at 6:30 pm and performance at 7:00 pm in the Steinway Recital Hall at 4285 Sidco Drive.
The event will be orchestrated by the Steinway Recital Hall’s Brandon Herrenbruck and co-hosted by Grammy- and Dove-nominated artist Pam Mark Hall, publisher of Nashville Medical News. All donations, including the $75 ticket price for the evening, will directly benefit the school.

Performers for the evening will include physicians who are also exceptional musicians, such as Dr. John Bond’s Capital Jazz and Swing Band., Dr Ming Wang in a musical duet with Carlos Enrique, a duet with Dr. Steve Hyman and Elena Bennett, Dr. David Hansen, Dr. Ted Wiltsie and Marilyn Shields-Wiltsie, Pam Mark Hall and the W.O. Smith School Choir.

The idea for the unusual program occurred to Herrenbruck when he realized how many doctors he meets at the gallery have a special relationship with music. He said his company is always interested in giving back to the arts. The W.O. Smith Music School, a place where education, instruction and encouragement is offered to children with a passion for music without the means to afford lessons or instruments, seemed to be the ideal recipient of the funds for the evening. Herrenbruck hopes Healing Hands at Steinway will turn into an annual event.

The school is named for William Oscar Smith, a musician and teacher. Dr. Smith, a professor at Tennessee State University and a member of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, dreamed of a school where children from low-income families would have music instruction of the highest quality made available to them.

This school is a fulfillment of that dream.

Instruction is provided by a 100-member volunteer faculty of area musicians from many elements of the Nashville music scene: studio musicians, symphony players, college professors, public school teachers, church musicians, private teachers and university students. These individuals each donate one to four hours a week to teach their students. Over 350 students, ages seven to 18, representing academic schools from across Metro Davidson County and the middle Tennessee area, participate in more than 500 different courses. Students must qualify for the reduced or free lunch program in metro schools to take lessons at W.O. Smith for fifty cents per lesson.

Pam Mark Hall, an artist/songwriter acknowledged for her lyrical depth and creative virtue, has been hailed as a Top Female CCM Artist and has two gold albums to her credit. As co-producer of Healing Hands at Steinway, she was eager to participate in the event. “I’m passionate about integrating music and charities with businesses that have an affinity for the cause. When Brandon shared his plans to hold a concert by doctor musicians to raise money for a deserving charity, I thought, well, of course Nashville Medical News will support this event by promoting it to its physician and healthcare executive audience. Why not support the W.O. Smith School of Music? It just makes sense,” said Hall. She has written a song for the event for the school choir to perform with her.

Dr. Bond’s Capital Jazz and Swing Band has had several incarnations since Bond started playing with a group of fellow physicians. But since 1985, there has been a fairly stable group of “compatible people” who practice once or twice a week. Bond, an optometrist in private practice, has honed in on the alto saxophone and clarinet as his instruments of choice. The 10-member band includes an internist, a pathologist, a dermatologist, physics major and a PhD electrical engineer on the saxophone. The group plays for weddings and parties, specializing in older popular American music with unusual arrangements. Bond is particularly fond of their rendition of Patsy Cline’s “Crazy and Red Wing,” a swing number about an Indian maiden.

Dr. David Hansen, who practices at the Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute, is an accomplished composer and pianist who has been performing since his youth. The three classical piano pieces he will perform on the program are ones “which I composed during summer between first and second year of medical school,” he said. “The three pieces are from a large work called ‘David Hansen, Twelve Preludes for Piano.’”

Dr. Steve Hyman, medical director of Vanderbilt’s Medical Center East operating rooms, is an associate professor at Vanderbilt University Medical School (VUMC). He received his medical degree from Indiana University and came to Nashville for a residency in anesthesiology at VUMC. After more than two decades as a physician, Hyman elected to work part-time in the operating room and enrolled as a piano student at Belmont University, where he earned a master’s degree in music, specializing in piano performance, in 2004. His musical ability helped him pay for college and medical school.

Born in Moscow, Russia, Elena Bennett received her Bachelor and Master's degrees in piano performance from the Russian Academy of Music, recognized worldwide as one of the three premier conservatories in the former USSR. She currently serves on the piano faculty of Belmont University School of Music. She regularly performs in numerous solo and chamber recitals including appearances with the Nashville Ballet at TPAC, Renaissance Center, the Frist Museum of Visual Arts, Belmont faculty recitals, and Blair concert series.

Well known for his ballroom dancing and generous philanthropic efforts, Ming Wang is truly a Renaissance man—scientist, musician, inventor, and entrepreneur. Born in poverty in China, he learned to play the er-hu, an ancient Chinese musical instrument, to escape the misery common to millions of Chinese youth. Today he is a Harvard and MIT graduate and one of the few LASIK surgeons in the world with a doctorate in laser physics. He will perform with Carlos Enrique.

Carlos Enrique was born in San Juan Puerto Rico. He attended de Pablo Casals Conservatory of Music where he studied composition and guitar and graduated magna cum laude in Music and Classic Guitar. Later, Enrique studied at the Esther Boyer College of Music in Temple University in Philadelphia, where he again graduated magna cum laude with a Master in Music, and Post Master Diploma in Performance. He has received numerous awards for his exceptional talent in composition, including awards from the Institute of Culture of Puerto Rico. He recently released a solo album of original romantic compositions and is finishing a suite for orchestra.

Dr. Ted Wiltsie is currently Conductor and Artistic Director of the Delta Symphony Orchestra in Greenville, Mississippi. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Music from Ithaca College, advanced musical studies in conducting, voice, and medieval notation, a Master of Arts in Sociology from University of Northern Colorado, and a PhD of Education in Human Development and Counseling from Vanderbilt University. In addition to conducting, and singing, he plays viola. His experiences include being the Director of the United States Air Force “Singing Sergeants” in Washington, D.C., and performing and recording with a select male chorus, the U.S. premier of Oedipus Rex under the baton of the composer, Igor Stravinsky.

Marilyn Shields-Wiltsie holds the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Peabody College. She was for many years a Senior Artist-Teacher of Piano at the Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University. She is a designated Steinway Artist and was the founding president of the Steinway Society of Nashville. In addition to her frequent appearances in the United States, she has performed numerous solo concert tours internationally. In 1989 she received the honorary title “Ambassador of Armenian Music to the U.S.” as a result of earthquake relief concerts she presented in Yerevan.

For reservations and contributions for the May 1 performance, which has limited seating capacity, please contact Brandon Herrenbruck at (615) 373-5901 or bherrenbruck@steinwaynashville.com



April 2008

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