Last year, CCM and Twin Towers partnered to create a new artist-in-residence program, which provided two CCM graduate students with free housing as they lived and performed in the senior living community. The program provides students with an immersive learning experience while bringing new musical talents to the Twin Towers residents.
It began as an experiment, said Twin Towers Executive Director Jim Lay, and after a successful first year, the program doubled to embed two more graduate students in the community. The four student artists reside on one of the Twin Towers campuses as they work complete their graduate degrees at CCM. They perform one recital per month and socialize with the community’s residents throughout the year in discussions and open rehearsals.
“None of us imagined the level and depth of mutual connection and personal relationships that have emerged between these individuals of different generations, nor did we imagine the potential impact that this relationship has had on the energy and vitality within our Twin Towers community,” Lay said.
The program’s inaugural artists-in-residence were second-year Master of Music students soprano Annie Barr and collaborative pianist Alyssa Griffith. This year, they are joined by harpist Anna Odell and jazz studies major Angie Coyle, both are first-year Master of Music students at CCM.
Annie Barr remembers how supportive the Twin Towers residents were during the first year of the program and said she loved performing in front of such an encouraging audience, which usually included around 200 residents.
“Making someone else’s day brighter with music makes my day,” she said. “I talk to many of the residents most days, simply from walking on community grounds or practicing in the main lounge. I’ve learned a lot about their lives and in return they’ve learned about my life as a musician.”