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Westminster At Lake Ridge Blog

An illustrious past meets an exceptional future. We are committed to creating meaningful lives of purposeful engagement for every resident as well as those who serve them.

Westminster At Lake Ridge Blog

WLR Blog
Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Lovely melodies enrich the lives of retirement community’s residents

You can tell that music is a central part of life at Westminster at Lake Ridge.

Music soothes the soul, relaxes the body, brings back memories and stimulates the brain. That's why Susan Lasher, Director of Life Enrichment at Westminster at Lake Ridge, schedules musical performances as often as possible.

"We bring in lots of music because it is the one thing that touches everybody," Lasher says.

This month, residents have enjoyed the Spring Concert by the community's own Westminstrels and an appearance by the Celebration Singers. They're looking forward to performances by the Mount Vernon Concert band at 7 p.m. June 20 and the Prince William Community Band at 7:30 p.m. June 22. All concerts are in the Potomac Room.

The Westminstrels were formed soon after the retirement community opened and has been going strong for more than 20 years," Lasher says. About 40 residents now are part of the group, which is led by Music Director Leslie Bennett, a talented musician who has worked with young people and composes music. The group practices two days a week to prepare for several performances each year. Each concert is built around a theme, Lasher says.

At the well-attended Spring Concert, the Westminstrels invited the audience to "Come Along With Me" on a journey through songs from different areas of the country.

In addition to the Spring Concert, the Westminstrels perform a winter concert in December called "Lessons and Carols." They also present a "Trim a Tree" program to launch the season with a Christmas carol sing-along and holiday decorating.

Three Westminster at Lake Ridge residents are members of the Celebration Singers, a group of adults from the Prince William County area who practice at the retirement community every Tuesday night.

"They go to different venues to perform," Lasher says. "They usually sing for us twice a year.

The Mount Vernon Concert Band, conducted by Owen Hammett, has been performing at the retirement community for about 15 years. Drawing members from all over the D.C. area, the band plays marches and patriotic music.

"They give a little history of each piece before they play," Lasher says. "The residents really enjoy it."

The very popular Prince William Community Band is composed of active or retired professional musicians, educators and skilled amateurs who share their love of brass, woodwind and percussion instrumental music. Their repertoire is drawn from spirited marches, enduring melodies and historical and contemporary compositions that appeal to everyone.

At other times of the year, residents enjoy performances by solo pianists, jazz groups, a string quartet and children's groups. The Woodbridge Music Club brings in various types of talent, including performances by artists who play unique instruments such as the vibraphone.

Residents also love dancing to the bands Lasher brings in.

"A couple here have been giving ballroom dance lessons, so we're scheduling more dances," she says.

The Westminstrels are not the only musical group that has been formed at Westminster at Lake Ridge. Residents have formed a chimes group, and the members of the Kitchen Band, who play "instruments" such as washboards and coffee cans filled with beans, present concerts twice a year.

"The Kitchen Band has grown to the point that they don't even fit on the stage any more," Lasher says.

Opportunities to play music and to attend musical performances contribute to the rich lifestyle of residents at Westminster at Lake Ridge, where there are abundant choices for connecting with other residents and the community, expanding the mind and caring for the body. Together it all adds up to Engaged Living.

To learn more about upcoming events at Westminster at Lake Ridge, please call 703-436-8122 or click here.



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