Healing sound of live music at Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital

By: Liz Grimm
| Published 03/14/2018

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THE WOODLANDS, Texas -- Beautiful music filled the air at Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital as American piano virtuoso David Syme performed inside the six-story-high, natural light-infused main lobby atrium on Monday, March 12, 2018.

As he tickled the keys of the hospital’s Boston Steinway grand piano, the performance was video-streamed live to televisions in patient rooms on Channel 7. Visitors and employees walking by paused to enjoy watching and listening to Syme play. Overlooking the second floor’s ICU and Surgical waiting areas, visitors could see and hear the music.

“We were honored to invite Mr. Syme with the support of arts patron Margaret Alkek Williams, who is allowing us to routinely share world-class musical talent with the patients, families, visitors, and staff of the Houston Methodist hospital system,” said Todd Frazier Director of Houston Methodists’ Center for Performing Arts Medicine. “During David’s week-long visit to Houston, he performed at all of the Houston Methodist locations playing classical songs that included Irish tunes in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.

“Of special note to The Woodlands is the addition of the beautiful Boston Steinway piano which was donated by DeeAnn Anderson and her daughter, Stephanie Anderson Bondi, in memory of her husband, Peter, who was cared for at the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute. This special piano enhances our environment of care and enriches the patient and staff experience, which is what sets Houston Methodist apart as it leads medicine.”

The songs performed included:

  • Debussy: Claire De Lune
  • Chopin: Waltz in C Sharp Minor
  • Chopin: Fantasy Impromptu
  • Chopin: Nocturne In E-Flat
  • Irish songs: Oh Danny Boy; Maggie; Teddy O'Neill
  • As Time Goes By
  • I'll Be Seeing You
  • Ashokan Farewell
  • Amazing Grace

“This is wonderful,” noted a visitor. “I love the way he plays – so beautifully, and his biography is also very impressive. David Syme just made a half-hour of my day better!”

Internationally known, David Syme has called Ireland home since 2005 and lives in the south-west county of Cork. Syme studied music at Juilliard and has played classical concerts throughout the United States as well as numerous international venues. He has appeared with numerous orchestras and graced the stages of Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center and other major venues throughout Europe, Canada, and Mexico. In recognition of his contributions to the Irish cultural landscape, he was recently awarded an honorary degree by the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

Trent Fulin, Vice President of Operations, Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital, added, “By gracing us with his amazing talent for over an hour, David Syme certainly made an impact as live music can be soothing and healing, as well as sentimental and inspiring. As we were streaming it live to the patients who chose to watch and hear it, we also recorded it to allow us to present it again in the future. His visit is among our many endeavors to enhance the patient experience. Last holiday season, we hosted a performance by internationally-renown opera singer Ian José Ramirez, who is a native of The Woodlands, as well as a school choir and a festive visit from Santa Claus.”

For more information about Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital, visit www.houstonmethodist.org.

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