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Healing Harp Music Offered to Patients, Public

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – An international harp training program will take place at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center Oct. 2-9, featuring a world-renowned harpist and 25 students who will be playing at patients’ bedsides and in public concerts.

The medical center’s Visual and Performing Arts program and the Comprehensive Cancer Center/Cancer Patient Support Program have coordinated the training event and three concerts, which are free and open to the public. The harpists will be training for the entire week in various locations in the Cancer Center, and will be performing in patient rooms in one-on-one situations.

This program is part of the International Harp Therapy Program that trains its students to offer both bedside music and interactive work with patients. They use a small harp as a bedside instrument with the intention of supporting the patient’s goal of healing, whether emotional, physical, mental or spiritual.

“This program is bringing good vibrations, literally and figuratively, to the medical center,” said Richard McQuellon, a counseling psychologist and professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the WFU School of Medicine, where he serves as the director of the Psychosocial Oncology and Cancer Patient Support Programs.

On Sept. 30 at 12:15 p.m. in Davis Memorial Chapel, the Arts Alive concert will feature Christina Tourin, who serves as the trainer of the program. Tourin is an international recording and touring artist who founded the International Harp Therapy Program in 1995 and serves as its director. Tourin is a second generation harpist who began playing at age 4. She received music and education degrees from the University of Vermont and also studied harp at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.

Various performers will be featured in the Sunday, Oct. 5 concert at 7:30 p.m. in Davis Memorial Chapel. Free parking is available for this concert in the Hawthorne Employee Deck across from the chapel. The gates will be left open.

A final concert is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 6, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Ardmore Cafeteria. All employees and visitors are welcome to attend.

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Media Relations Contacts: Bonnie Davis, bdavis@wfubmc.edu, (336) 716-4977; or Shannon Koontz, shkoontz@wfubmc.edu, at (336) 716-4587.

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