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Soprano Converts Clinic to Concert Hall

Written by Adam Zewe

The soprano's voice reaches a booming crescendo. Audience members applaud as they sit back and prepare for the next aria. The music belongs in a concert hall, but this opera performance occurs in the waiting room of the Urgent Care Clinic.

The concert, performed by soprano Joann Moorer and pianist Chungwon Chung of the Peabody Institute, is sponsored by Dr. Joseph Davidson, assistant professor in the Department of Oncology and Diagnostic Sciences. Passionate about music, Dr. Davidson funded the concert to ease patients' stress while they wait for treatment. It is the third show he has sponsored this year. "This concert is an opportunity for our patients to hear things they might not have heard before," he states.

Performing in a dental clinic is a new experience for Moorer, who has been singing opera for five years. The music expresses deep emotions, she explains, and many people find the melodies to be a soothing distraction. "It takes the audience to a place where they can be calm and relaxed," she remarks.

Moorer's powerful voice fills the room as she performs songs by classical composers Mozart, Handel and Liszt. Students and faculty peek out of the operatories to catch a glimpse of the musicians. Patients tap their fingers in time with the music, a lively tune from Mozart's famous opera "Don Giovanni."

Patient Horace Johnson, of Baltimore, closes his eyes, taking in the soothing melodies. Hearing opera in the waiting room is a pleasant surprise that helps the time pass faster, he says. Patient Geraldine Miller, of Baltimore, enjoys hearing the music change tempo and volume throughout each aria. "The singer has such a beautiful voice. It helps take my mind off my pain," states Miller.

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