“Music and the arts make a bridge across this world in ways that nothing else can.” - Julie Andrews
Music connects people across generations; not only through beloved songs, but also through the emotions and memories associated with them. At Tacy Foundation, young musicians share their talent and passion for music with senior citizens at live music events. Recently, the Tacy Foundation decided to strengthen this connection by giving the youth the opportunity to interview seniors about their lives and how music has impacted them. As a part of the Tacy Foundation, we decided to be a part of this enlightening opportunity and interviewed several seniors at the Heritage Village Assisted Living Center at Gainesville.
On August 24, 2019, we interviewed five seniors: June, Carol, Joy, Ray, and Ingebold.
June, a sister in home and church, was born in Springfield, Virginia. She fondly recalls playing the piano as a child and performing for church as she became more proficient. June worked for the FBI in the Department of Defense, serving in the government like the rest of her family. Like most of the seniors we interviewed, the war had a major impact on how she lived. June recounts how her whole family had to ration food because of the war.
Carol, born when World War II was almost over, had a “pretty normal childhood.” Her parents were coal miners and she had seven siblings. As an adult, she worked for the foreign service in the government. Characterizing her life as not very out of the ordinary, she seemed content with her life. She said that having children and falling in love were the happiest moments of her life.
Joy, wearing a blue blouse, was the epitome of her name. She was born in Arlington and lived near DC for the majority of her life. She often played piano for her church and even taught piano to other kids. When she was growing up, she remembered the blackouts of World War II. She vividly recalled that when the war ended, her father ran and banged the piano with zeal. She loves her kids, her grandkids, and her great-grandchildren.
Ray, the oldest senior we interviewed, was a quiet historian. Born in 1924, he was 95 years old when we interviewed him. He gives history talks about various topics from time to time and is extremely knowledgeable about the Civil War and Virginia as a state. He enlisted in the military at the age of 19 during World War II. His favorite memory is when they were told that the war was over and the room burst into cheers and tears.
Born in Berlin, Germany, Ingebold spent much of her life in America, but was profoundly impacted by her childhood memories in Germany. One of her most vivid memories was being recruited into the Hitler Youth during World War II. She remembers sheltering in the basement from air raids, and learning that Hitler was a “good man.” After twelve years of teaching English in Germany, Ingebold moved to America. She spent twenty years teaching German in America. And it was here that she met the love of her life - her husband.
Despite being from different backgrounds, the one thing that the seniors all agreed with was how music has had a profound impact on their lives. “Music has been my life,” said Joy, the others murmured in agreement.
Each of them associate special memories with certain songs. For Carol, she remembers listening to Tony Bennett’s I Left My Heart In San Francisco the night she met her husband. Many of them enjoy listening to the music of their day, such as jazz, rock and roll, show tunes, and timeless songs. Their favorite songs included Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (The Andrew Sisters), Long Train Running (Doobie Brothers), I Only Have Eyes For You (The Flamingos), and Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (The Platters).
Music is truly a universal language connects people regardless of cultural differences or language barriers. We would like to thank all the people involved in this process, including Mrs. Holliday the founder of the Tacy Foundation, Wendy Edmund (Director of Life Enrichment for Heritage Village Assisted Living and Memory Care Facility at Gainesville), our parents, and, of course, the lovely seniors that we interviewed!
And finally our most important question...
What’s your favorite pizza!!!!
June - Cheese pizza
Carol - Meat Lover’s pizza
Joy - Veggie pizza
Ray - Spinach pizza
Ingebold - Cheese pizza
Written by: Emily Wu & Amy Tsou