Galveston Healing Arts Orchestra to hold concert

A medical team operates much like a symphony orchestra, an analogy that members of the Galveston Healing Arts Orchestra embrace.

“Music has a healing power,” said Abhi Rao, a medical student at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. “It brings people together.”

Rao, who plays the flute, is one of the coordinators of the orchestra that formed earlier this year. UTMB faculty, staff and students organized the ensemble to play classical music.

Trond Saeverud of the Galveston Symphony Orchestra has been leading rehearsals and will conduct the orchestra’s first concert at 7 p.m. June 24 in the Levin Hall Dining Room on the Galveston campus.

About 20 to 30 musicians might show up for each rehearsal, but the group and Saeverud are flexible. Hospital hours can be long and sometimes unexpected. If one of the players is missing, Saeverud works around it.

“There’s no pressure to join or commit,” Rao said. “Come as you can.”

The orchestra will play works by Beethoven and Bizet at the June 24 concert.

“The GHAO is a great way for students and faculty to unwind and share in the experience of making beautiful music,” said Dr. Matt Dacso, assistant professor of Internal Medicine.

“We all know just how prone health professionals and health professions students are to issues like burnout and depression,” Dacso said. “Playing music is well known to help mitigate those issues – I have personally used music for this purpose for many years!  I am perennially impressed with the incredible artistic talent that we have on our campus – am glad that there is an outlet, especially for those who are lovers of classical music.  And if you don’t know whether you like it, come out and see!”

For information about the concert or about joining the orchestra, contact Rao at abrao@UTMB.EDU.