News & Reviews

« Back to News & Reviews

Virginia Symphony to perform special concert for Hampton Roads seniors

May 26, 2017

THE VIRGINIA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA is inviting senior citizens from Hampton Roads to take a trip to the Virginia Beach Convention Center, and a trip back in time.

The orchestra is putting on a concert designed for music lovers with a touch, or more, of gray.

“It seems like such a natural idea that it could have been routine, but it’s never been done before,” said resident conductor Benjamin Rous.

 “Someone in the office said, ‘You know, there are people who would love to see the symphony who can’t make it to our regular performances,’” he said. That someone, we later learned, was Teresa Kraus, chief financial officer.

Rous called the performance a result of the strategic planning that symphony leaders undertake to identify and reach new segments of the community.

In a statement, the VSO said the concert, at 2 p.m. June 8 at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, will include “romantic strings, rousing marches, and toe-tapping favorites. We’ll even throw in a sing-along for the young at heart, led by Chorusmaster Robert Shoup! It will be a chance to have a look back in time with familiar light classics and favorite popular tunes, from Rodgers and Hammerstein, to Tchaikovsky to Cole Porter.”

Rous said he’s always happy to perform for a group that’s not the usual symphony fan base. It allows the players to show how much fun a concert can be.


“It’s not an exercise in rigidity and sitting still,” Rous said.

Music has been a source of joy to me for as long as I can remember, and I’m close to official senior-citizen status. It’s well-documented that music offers specific benefits for the elderly, and a stroll through the Internet turned up a nice list of seven benefits of music therapy for physical and mental health: relieving boredom, motivating movement, rekindling positive memories, shifting negative thinking patterns, calming nervousness, encouraging happy thoughts and promoting social interaction.

It’s easy to see this special performance covering all those bases, and more. I don’t need to wait until this concert is over to say: Bravo, VSO.

– Dan Duke