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Mother of musician Dwight Aspinwall, resident of Wheelock Terrace

Residents of Wheelock Terrace were wrapped in the support of the community through the sounds of brass and woodwinds on Tuesday, May 5. Members of the Upper Valley Community Band that typically performs for huge holiday crowds performed last week on perhaps the widest stage of their careers: an assisted living community parking lot. The performance was particularly special for one band member, Dwight Aspinwall, whose parents call the community home.

Dorothy and Duncan Aspinwall shared that the band’s performance was wonderful. “My parents have always been supporters of music, and we owe a big shout-out to the Wheelock staff for helping us set up a performance for this community that we love,” shares son Dwight, who saw the performance as a great way to see his parents during this time of pandemic regulations.

“We always love when a band visits to perform for the residents,” said Melissa Suckling, executive director of Wheelock Terrace. “We’re glad we could work with the Upper Valley Community Band to give residents a safe opportunity to spend time outside their homes and enjoy a swing of music therapy in this refreshing outdoor scenery.”

The Upper Valley Community Band performs formal concerts at Lebanon Opera House along with a multitude of summer parades and seasonal bandstand gigs, and it has had performances at Wheelock Terrace many times before including Christmas concerts. “We’ve been chomping at the bit to be able to play again, and with a band this size it’s a challenge at the moment,” says Dwight. The band’s director Mark Nelson echoes Dwight’s affirmations, “Wheelock Terrace enabled some of us to play together for the first time since quarantine restrictions were imposed!”

Since group sizes in New Hampshire are currently restricted to 10 or less people, just seven out of over 60 members of the vast Upper Valley Community Band were present, but that didn’t hinder their melodies. The musicians, playing instruments including clarinets, trumpet, trombone, and tuba, successfully entertained the Wheelock residents with polka, waltzes, and even ragtime favorites. Aspinwall looks forward to additional safe opportunities to rehearse and perform for the community.

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