Arts and Medicine Combine
for New Triad Orchestra

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – (Aug. 7, 2015) The University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center are teaming up to provide a new creative outlet for medical professionals. The Triad Area Medical Orchestra brings dedicated medical professionals together to use their musical talents.

The orchestra is open to anyone in a medical profession, said Christopher James Lees, award-winning musical director of the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra, who is a co-founder of the Medical Orchestra and will be its conductor.

“Doctors, nurses, medical students, technicians and care providers: join us for this incredible musical experience,” said Lees. “It doesn’t matter where you work or which instrument you play.”

Christopher James Lees. Photo by Peter Mueller

Christopher James Lees. Photo by Peter Mueller

“Many medical professionals possess musical talent and enjoy the performing arts,” said Lucy Lan, a third-year medical student at Wake Forest University and co-founder of the orchestra. “The absence of playing music after college made me realize how much I missed the violin, along with the friendships, collaboration and memories that result from making music.”

The Medical Orchestra will hold its first rehearsal at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 23 in Room 167 of the School of Music Complex on UNCSA’s campus at 1533 South Main St.

“Playing music for patients, with friends for fun, or at fundraisers for various medical initiatives is a gratifying and creative stress-reliever that brings people together in collaboration,” Lan said. “I see this orchestra strengthening ties outside of the workplace.”

Lees has been involved with a medical orchestra before: while in Ann Arbor, Mich., home of the University of Michigan, where he received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees and then taught and served as associate director of orchestras.

“Many major cities have medical orchestras; they are an audible, holistic connection between the healing profession and a city’s artistic soul,” he said. “Winston-Salem’s personality seems perfectly suited for meaningfully bringing this concept to life.”

Lees said in addition to providing stress relief to medical professionals, the new orchestra will facilitate broader connection between UNCSA and its community, and occasionally could provide learning opportunities for his graduate conducting students.

The orchestra will rehearse every Sunday, working on both well-known classical and contemporary music, with the hope of having a public performance within a year.

Lees and Lan said they are not interested in the number of violins, or flutes, or tubas. The focus is on giving as many people as possible an opportunity to play and talk to their peers outside of work about their medical vocation and their musical avocation.

For more information or to sign up, interested medical professionals should contact Lan at llan@wakehealth.edu.

Additional Information

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (www.wakehealth.edu) is a nationally recognized academic medical center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with an integrated enterprise including educational and research facilities, hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centers and other primary and specialty care facilities serving 24 counties in northwest North Carolina and southwest Virginia. Its divisions are Wake Forest Baptist Health, a regional clinical system that includes Brenner Children’s Hospital and has close to 175 locations, 900 physicians and 1,000 acute care beds; Wake Forest School of Medicine, an established leader in medical education and research; and Wake Forest Innovations, which accelerates the commercialization of research discoveries and specialized research capabilities of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and operates Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, an urban district for research, business and education. Wake Forest Baptist clinical, research and educational programs are annually ranked among the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is America’s first state-supported arts school, a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system when it was formed in 1972. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.

Media Contacts

For Wake Forest Baptist: Mac Ingraham, mingraha@wakehealth.edu, 336-716-3487;
Shannon Putnam, sputnam@wakehealth.edu, 336-713-8261.
For UNCSA: Lauren Whitaker, whitakerl@uncsa.edu, 336-734-2891

Posted in Arts Advocacy, News and Notes, News and Notes
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This project was supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.

The Winston-Salem Symphony receives operational funding from The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County

Educational initiatives made possible with funding by Wells Fargo, The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County and The Winston-Salem and Forsyth County Schools.