“Visiting Musicians” volunteer for senior citizens


Photo Courtesy of Lucas Lin.

The “Visiting Musicians” club plays music for the elderly at senior citizens homes. They have been invited back to play more frequently, given that the homes love the joy that the club brings to their residents.

By Sophie Liss, Sports Editor

CHS is home to many talented music groups, ranging from choral groups such as Show-Stoppers and Voices of a Generation to the skillful band and orchestra, but the CHS Visiting Musicians add a whole new level of variety to the music CHS has to offer.

The CHS Visiting Musicians club travels to different senior citizen facilities around Montgomery County in order to perform music for senior citizens.

“The club’s mission is to provide entertainment for the elderly in nursing homes and other senior facilities, while making new friends and bringing joy to the community,” senior and club president founder Darren Chang said. “We make appointments to perform. We have had two performances so far, including one the day before New Year’s Eve.”

The club was created as an opportunity to entertain senior citizens and meet new people. After Chang came up with the idea, it resonated with many other students in the CHS orchestra, so they  created the club with a strong shared purpose to enrich the community.

“I visited my grandma often at the Village At Rockville, a senior facility, and frequently noticed that many of the residents lacked the opportunity to interact with outsiders, and seemed lonely,” Chang said. “I wondered how I could cheer them up. I decided to start a club based around performing music for them, not only at the Village, but at many other senior centers as well.”

Many of the club members enjoy entertaining senior citizens and making them smile. The Visiting Musicians’ first two performances were successful and as a result they were invited to perform again.

“Both times we have been invited back as soon as the performance was over, with highly positive responses from the seniors,” Chang said. “Seeing the smiles on their faces makes all the practice, travel, and setup worthwhile.”

In addition, the club gives its members an opportunity to be a part of something that is different from typical music classes, since they are performing for members of the community rather than for parents or at a school event.

“I like being a part of CHS Visiting Musicians because it lets me use music in a way different than in lessons or music classes,” sophomore Lucas Lin said. “Playing for other people for service gives [myself] and all the club members a sense that we’ve made others happier.”

For members of the club, the traveling musicians are a way to bring people with a common interest together.

“It’s not just about playing for the elderly in nursing homes,” sophomore Martin Rojas said. “It’s about bonding with both the audience and your fellow musicians in the performances over something that you all cherish. The club livens up the community and the school.”

While the performances have been largely successful, there have been some issues with scheduling performances; it is difficult to plan a performance when every club member is available and it takes time to create new music for the performances.

“With the other demands on our members’ time, and the need to get new music and practice, we expect to schedule our next concert in early March,” Chang said.

Although the club has faced difficulties with scheduling performances, the members have been able to overcome setbacks through collaboration and dedication to performing.

“All the officers and members of the club are happy with how the club turned out,” Chang said. “There have been some bumps along the way, including scheduling issues, but we feel like we are more experienced and better positioned now to manage these challenges.”

As for the future, the the CHS Visiting Musicians plan to expand their club and perform for as many senior citizens as possible, as well as perform for new audiences.

“We’re planning to expand our music into other genres for our different audiences,” Lin said. “One of our bigger goals is to incorporate more band members and tunes to have a fuller group and music sound associated with us.”