The sounds of music fill the hallways at Springmoor most anytime of the day or night. It is a joy to walk through the Gathering Room and hear a husband playing show tunes for his wife on the piano. Or maybe stroll around the campus grounds and hear the sound of the bells in the tower each hour. Perhaps you might be walking by the auditorium and hear someone practicing their favorite Chopin piece on our newest grand piano. There are ukuleles and accordions, clarinets and drums practiced and enjoyed in all corners of the buildings.
There are many musicians within the community and even more that come to visit and perform. Springmoor Presents!, a theatre performance series, is offered throughout the year in our auditorium. Musical guests have included The Raleigh Boychoir, The Celtic Trio, The Raleigh Ringers and A Touch of Brass, just to name a few. Large instrumental groups or small ensembles, voices or bells, guitars or trumpets – they have all made an appearance on our stage to the delight of our residents.
A new class, Drumming For Life, began recently and meets twice a month. Lorrie Houze, a physical therapist and musician, brings her drums and other percussion instruments for our residents to learn and play. Everyone joins in the circle letting the sound and movement create a wonderful environment. Lorrie has found that it helps reduce stress, blood pressure and heart rate with the rhythm and the movement. Muscles begin to relax and the creativity fills the room.
In the early afternoons when you walk by the auditorium, pause and listen. You may here Sue Pauli playing one of her favorite piano arrangements. She has been a resident at Springmoor for almost four years and has been a pianist since she was in elementary school. With two musical parents, it wasn’t long before she discovered the notes herself. She credits her love of music to her first teacher and her best friend.
The two little girls, best friends and neighbors, began taking piano lessons together. Their teacher not only taught them to play but also taught them to love what they were doing. “She made it fun. We played games, performed with each other, sang songs, and played an assortment of instruments. She gave us such a good feeling about music.” As the two grew older, they organized a youth choir at their church. They were only in high school and really knew very little about directing an ensemble. Their love of music made it a success and they both continued to pursue their passion through college. Sue was a flute and education major. When she graduated, her first job split her time as a flutist with the symphony and a music educator with the public schools. She pursued a duel career, performing and teaching for many years.
Accompanying other musicians, voice or instrumental, is a sought-after skill in a college setting. She said that playing for the voice students was her favorite lesson of the week. “It was like getting a free voice lesson while I accompanied the student!” It helped her to become a better teacher and to understand music from many different aspects. Today, at Springmoor, she plays for an assortment of groups. You will find her practicing for her own enjoyment or playing for services many times during the week.
Marlene and Mac Lambeth are well known musicians at Springmoor and in the community. They play and sing not only for their neighbors at Springmoor but at their churches in Raleigh and Southmont. They both play in the church’s orchestra, Mac plays the clarinet and Marlene plays the flute.
Even before they made their move to our campus, Marlene was a volunteer pianist for Springmoor’s vesper services. She began piano lessons when she was seven and added the flute to her repertoire only four years ago! Her greatest joy is singing with The Cardinal Singers of Raleigh, a women’s choral group of fifty talented voices. Performing twenty to thirty concerts each year, the group travels to all corners of the city. And if that’s not enough, she also plays 4-hands piano duets with a good friend, performing multiple concerts for ladies luncheons. She continues her music education with Springmoor’s premier pianist/organist, Beulah Cameron.
Everyone knows that this story would not be complete without Beulah Cameron. A resident for 20 years, she has brought joy to many residents with her musical talents. Walking around the campus, you will find multiple pianos dedicated to her and her service. Vespers, a Sunday evening non-denominational service, was started with her inspiration and the help of a few others. Many residents participate in their church activities during the week and on Sunday mornings. With Springmoor Vespers, all of these small groups are brought together for a large evening service.
Beulah’s brother was the first to learn the keyboard from his mother. As she explained it, she was not a well-behaved child and wiggled around the room while the lessons were going on. She may not have been able to sit still but she was a great listener! Absorbing everything her mother taught her brother, she was able to play on her own after they left the room.
She pursued a degree in piano performance at Greensboro College and during her final year began to ask about the organ. With the guidance of a professor, she was offered a full graduate scholarship to study organ. And this was the beginning of many years of music in the church. While living in Virginia with her young family, she became a substitute organist, playing for over one hundred and twenty-five different churches! Often called early on a Sunday morning to fill in, she only needed the directions to the church. Opening a book of music to play was the easy part!
As a young mother, she required each of her three children to take piano lessons as part of their education. There was to be no arguing and plenty of practice. She found with each of them that after their three years of lessons, they all asked to continue. Beulah had her own students as well as her organist position. At Springmoor, she has taught seven residents to play, all with various musical backgrounds. One student had never touched a key before he met Beulah. Her gifts continued to be shared on Sunday afternoons and Sunday evenings as she now plays on a rotating schedule with her fellow Springmoor musicians. For her enjoyment and the delight of those around her, she plays her own piano in her apartment every day.
The sounds of music began early for many of our residents. The joy they bring to us can be seen and felt around the room as voices are raised and feet are tapping to the beat. We are grateful for all of the music and musicians that Springmoor has to offer!