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CSO string trio offers healing to OSU patients, nurses and doctors

The musicians perform at the OSU network of hospitals weekly through the OSUWMC Health Care Workers Wellness Fund.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — It was a sunny November day, but Dr. Anyelika Delerme’s mood was anything but.

She was walking through Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, carrying the weight of the news she had just delivered to a young patient. The diagnosis was terminal.

But then she heard music. Live music. And she paused.

“It caught my attention,” she said. “So I just turned to the right, and I said, you know what, let me sit down for a minute and just be in this moment because it’s a lot. It’s heavy to carry that with us, and I felt I needed to reflect on that for a moment.”

Dr. Delerme sat for a bit and listened to the Columbus Symphony Orchestra string trio perform for anyone and everyone who happened to be walking through the hospital that day.

A trio has been performing weekly at the OSU network of hospitals since May. The effort is funded through the OSUWMC Health Care Workers Wellness Fund, which is completely supported by community donations.

“We feel that music is such an important, healing thing, not only for patients but also for doctors and nurses and hospital workers and first responders to just have live music to give them an uplifting experience throughout their day,” said Daniel Walshaw, vice president of operations and artistic planning for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.

The performances are also being welcomed by the musicians. Even though the symphony continued to pay the salaries of the orchestra members throughout the pandemic, the musicians did miss out on extra performances and gigs.

“We’re made to play live music in front of audiences,” Walshaw said. “That’s what we do, and that’s how we connect best with people, not through computers or TVs, but through actually playing and experiencing music together. For them to be able to spread their art with people and help make their days better is really important to them as well.” 

The music certainly has made an impact. Dr. Delerme shared her appreciation for the performance she witnessed on Twitter. And nurse Kirsten Roblee praised the music on LinkedIn.

“I think music heals everyone, no matter where they are in their life’s journey, or whatever they’re going through, I think it has healing power really for everyone,” Dr. Delerme said. “We’re so focused on medication and lifestyle and everything like that, but music truly does hold a power in healing, and I think we need to be reminded of that regularly.”

The OSUWMC Health Care Workers Wellness Fund was established in April 2020 and is entirely funded by donations from the Buckeye community, in Central Ohio and beyond.

The fund also has provided around 10,000 catered meals, a hotel respite program and special staff for drinks and staff. 

Click here for more information or to donate.

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