Classical music takes center stage in Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital therapeutic concert program

Several patients at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital received a soothing musical treat Tuesday morning. Members of the South Carolina Philharmonic performed a small concert for children and their families as part of the hospital’s therapeutic concert program.

Members of the SC Philharmonic perform classical and popular tunes for children and families at Palmetto Health Children's Hospital (photo by Kelly Petty).

Members of the S.C. Philharmonic perform classical and popular tunes Tuesday for children and families at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital. (photo by Kelly Petty)

“It’s great; it’s inspiring, educational and healing,” said violinist Damir Horvat. “I think music helps children get better.”

Horvat, along with violinist Catherine Hazan, Dusan Vukajlovic on cello and viola player Mark Munningham, played a mix of classical and popular tunes. The quartet took requests from the kids, which ranged from the Pink Panther, Indiana Jones, Mozart’s “Divertimento” and the “Throne Room” theme song from “Star Wars.”

“This is such an awesome sponsorship,” said Denise Grant, whose son, Dereck, was recovering from an incident in which a golf cart fell on him.

Grant said the concert gives parents and kids a chance to escape from the daily rigors of being in the hospital. She said her son soon will begin to play the violin and that the program gave him a chance to see that he could still do it in spite of his injury.

“Music is another form of therapy,” she said. “It’s soothing. I can relax. And I can let the tears flow that needed to flow.”

Dereck Grant, listens as the SC Philharmonic quartet plays classical music (photo by Kelly Petty).

Dereck Grant listens Tuesday as the S.C. Philharmonic quartet plays classical music. (photo by Kelly Petty)

The concert program was started by S.C. Philharmonic Board Member Dr. Frank Clark, a psychiatrist who took up residency at the University of South Carolina. Horvat, who has been with the program for a year, said he was invited by Clark to perform at a Christmas party for patients residing in Richland Springs Psychiatric Hospital.

The performance sparked Clark’s idea to make the mini-concerts a frequent occurrence.

“It was his dream and passion to have a music-based music therapy program,” said Kim Williams, education and outreach director at the S.C. Philharmonic.

Since then, the concerts have been put on once or twice a month on the oncology floor of Palmetto Health Richland and the Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital. Williams said they hope to expand to the new Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge.

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