Composers Nick DiBerardino and TJ Cole

This year, Nick DiBerardio has been a Community Artist Fellow at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. One of Nick’s projects is Creative Expression through Music, a program for people with cognitive impairments, from mild decline to Alzheimer’s disease. Working with the Penn Memory Center and two Penn graduate students, Nick designed a series of workshops, creating a curriculum that targets anxiety, depression, and other mood concerns.

Nick is an alum of our Young Composers Seminar (YCS ’18) and returned last fall with a new LCCMF-commissioned piece receiving its world premiere at our November 2018 FlynnSpace concert.

LCCMF brought Nick back to Burlington on Monday, April 8, to conduct 3 free workshops at local senior centers and residences. Based on the Penn Center program but modified for a single session, Nick did workshops for people at the Residence at Quarry Hill, the Champlain Senior Center (a day program at the Old North End Community Center at St. Joe’s), and at Pillsbury South.

“I want it to be really participatory, but I don’t want to be asking for too much talking. I want it to be call and response, visceral,” Nick says. “We’re not trying to fix anyone’s memory but to help them engage with the music.” The workshop involves humming, lots of call and response, body drumming, and improvisation. The design makes it possible to scale the complexity of the workshop depending on the participants.

For Monday’s workshops, Nick was assisted by LCCMF ED Jody Woos and by YCS ’14 alum TJ Cole, whose new work for LCCMF was premiered on Sunday at the FlynnSpace by a string quartet led by LCCMF co-artistic director Soovin Kim, and joined by clarinet Romie de Guise-Langlois.