Misericordia Place’s resident violist Leonard Carlson, 81, would like nothing better than a night out at the symphony!
Unfortunately, COVID restrictions and personal care home guidelines dictate otherwise.
The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s acting principal violist, Elise Lavallee, offered a creative solution until a trip to the symphony is possible: have Leonard join her 90-minute viola Zoom class for mature advanced students aged 70-77!
Leonard more than fit right in: playing along with four other students. Bach, Kreisler, Rachmaninov, Glinka and more!
Even better, the students all knew Leonard!
“Is that Len Carlson?” an on-screen message popped up. Turns out the students had all played in orchestras and string quartets with Leonard and had very fond memories of him as far back as 50 years ago!
A Zoom reunion!
Music has always been in Leonard’s blood, infused by “musical parents” who immigrated to Canada from Finland. And he’s clearly passed his love of music down to his children, who grew up playing a variety of instruments.
Daughter Andrea played piano and harp. His daughter Karen, an Associate Professor of Music at the University of Waterloo, plays the cello and composes. When Karen’s able to visit Winnipeg she brings her cello and plays duets at Misericordia Place with her dad. And son Ian plays the violin.
“Dad is a much better player than I am,” says Ian. “The last time we played together he put me to shame.”
“My Dad’s timing in music is steady and consistent,” shares Andrea, “An amazing skill he has never lost. He started playing the violin at age six and later switched to viola.”
Leonard’s always been interested in dabbling in writing music as well, including writing his high school theme song. Interestingly, Leonard’s younger brother Bruce is an accomplished composer.
These days Leonard serenades (indoors!) his fellow Misericordia residents on their birthdays and is frequently found accompanying pianists in activity rooms.
Misericordia Health Centre Foundation
99 Cornish Avenue
Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3C 1A2
Charitable Registration Number:
11904 2174 RR0001