Fall Session of MELODIES & MEMORIES at WHBPAC Begins 9/16

Calling all seniors who are interested in expanding their creative horizons. The WHBPAC's Nancy & Frederick DeMatteis Arts Education Program invites you to be part of its one-of-a-kind, original performing arts program Melodies & Memories. Designed to foster the continuous development of skills and knowledge throughout the lives of older adults, this 10 week program meets from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, beginning September 16, and culminates in a public performance on Sunday, November 23. Registration is open to seniors ages 65 and up with an interest in music and theatre. Experience is NOT necessary. The fee for the program is $100.

Under the theatrical and musical direction of teaching artists Valerie DiLorenzo and Jenna Mate, participants weave together music, theatre, story-telling and reminiscence while working towards a culminating free public performance on the PAC's world-class stage. In keeping with this semester's theme, Hooray for Hollywood, seniors will write their own stories and scenes to be paired with various songs from the Golden Age of American cinema.

Now in its fifth year, this nationally recognized, sequential, skill-based program challenges veteran participants while welcoming new participants who start at Year One of the curriculum. Seniors are divided into two groups, Newbies and Veterans, to make sure everyone benefits from the program.

Based on pre- and post- assessment, year after year seniors who participate in Melodies & Memories at WHBPAC have noted improvement in their mood, sense of well-being, physical and mental health and increased social engagement. Research has shown that mental activity stimulated by arts activities can prevent early onset of dementia, Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive disabilities.

Teaching Artist Valerie diLorenzo has been a Singer, Actress and Teaching Artist for over 20 years. Her musical theatre program, Theatrix, was honored by Lincoln Center as an exemplary integration of the theatrical and creative into the classroom. No matter what she does, however, people seem to be most interested in the fact that Valerie has been singing the National Anthem for the New York Mets for over 15 seasons.

Teaching Artist Jenna Mate is a director, actor, and performing arts educator. She's worked with numerous children's theater programs both as a director and vocal coach, and she's committed to fostering creativity, individuality, and confidence in her students. She recently joined the MFA in Directing program at Stony Brook Southampton. In addition, Jenna is passionate about voice work, and teaches vocal lessons privately.

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