Health Team

Duke Medicine Orchestra provides healing through music

Posted November 30, 2012 10:00 p.m. EST
Updated December 1, 2012 12:08 a.m. EST

— The Duke Cancer Center was built for healing through medications and surgeries. But the cancer center also provides natural healing through musical therapy.

In Duke Medicine Orchestra's annual winter concert, the musicians come from nearly 30 different departments across the Duke medical community.

Among them are many physicians like pathologist Dr. Nicholas Bandarenko, who, despite the demands of medical school and his practice, never abandoned his clarinet.

"So when this orchestra was founded, it really struck a chord within me because I had all these skills that I had cultivated my whole life," Bandarenko said.

Conductor Verena Mosenbichler-Bryant is the only full-time music professional among them. Mosenbichler-Bryant is a visiting assistant professor of music at Duke.

"It is really easy to work with them because they come in motivated, so prepared," Mosenbichler-Bryant said."They're always focused, paying attention and always right with me. I really appreciate all the passion they put into music."

As music wafts through the cathedral-like heights of the cancer center, it catches the ears of staffers and patients. For a moment, they put away all their stresses and let the music soothe and unite them.