The halls of Halcyon House: Inpatient Unit in Atlanta, GA were filled with the warm, deep tones of beautiful music Wednesday morning as Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Cellist, Brad Ritchie played for patient Janet Cardell in her private room.
Ms. Cardell’s daughter, Kristen Ashley MacCarthy had two requests for her mother who is suffering from end-stage multiple sclerosis…to receive a visit from a therapy dog and to have someone play music for them.
When Volunteer Coordinator Angela Bhowmik heard of the request she immediately thought of reaching out to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. “I know they’re not in the business of dogs, but when it comes to beautiful music, who better than the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,” commented Bhowmik.
The request was well received and within just a couple of days a private concert was scheduled with Mr. Ritchie. Coincidentally, the cello is Mrs. Cardell’s favorite instrument.
According to Mark Kent, VP of Education and Community Engagement “The ASO often sends musicians into community organizations to help support their missions and serve their clients. Our musicians are big on heart as well as talent.”
Talent indeed! Mr. Ritchie became a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Atlanta Chamber Players (ACP) in 1997. During his 15 years with the ACP he has made recordings with various labels and toured extensively including performances at Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Jordan Hall, the American Cathedral in Paris, France, and at the International Chamber Music Festival in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Mr. Ritchie has also played with many other chamber music and new music ensembles in and around Atlanta including Riverside Chamber Players, Thamyris Ensemble, Emory Chamber Players, Franklin Pond Quartet, GLO-ATL, and Bent Frequency, as well as annual concerts with faculty at Kennesaw State University and recitals with Robert Henry in Highlands, NC. His full bio can be viewed on the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s website.
Mr. Ritchie’s heart-felt tribute was moving as he played Johann Sebastian Bach’s Six Suites for Mrs. Cardell. Her daughter managed to keep the visit a surprise until moments before Mr. Ritchie arrived. The smile on her face was priceless. When asked if the performance made her day Mrs. Cardell replied “It made my whole year!”
Halcyon Hospice is forever grateful to Mr. Ritchie, Mark Kent and Ahmad Mayes of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for the gift they gave Mrs. Cardell and her daughter. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!