Once a year, music fills the ballroom at Vi at Silverstone, a Vi and Plaza Companies Community, where four young musicians bring together their passion for performance and public service to create a memorable experience for the residents.
The Tetra String Quartet (Tetra) has performed at Vi at Silverstone since the community opened five years ago. One of the residents, fond of the arts and a founder of the Princeton Youth Orchestra in New Jersey, discovered them through a connection at Arizona State University. Over time, their performances have become standing room only.
“Every time they play, it’s a full house,” said Kim Bankofier, Community Relations Manager for Vi at Silverstone. “The residents have fallen in love with the musicians, embracing their energy and enthusiasm, and almost adopting them as their grandchildren.”
Residents at Vi at Silverstone are very supportive of the arts, many serving as docents at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and the Phoenix Arts Museum. Tetra’s presence was a welcome addition to their community.
Themes for performances have included “Night at the Movies” and “A Jolly Holiday with Tetra.” In “Just Dance: Music That Makes you Move,” the musicians arranged the room so residents could dance along to waltz, tango and pop music. “There’s something in it for everyone,” said Chrystal Smothers, Tetra violinist.
Tetra delivers engaging, interactive performances, explaining their selections and, sometimes, dancing around the chairs. After each one-hour performance, they often stay for dinner. “They have developed close relationships with residents, and will visit with them during dinner following a performance,” said Bankofier.
“The residents are warm and welcoming,” said Smothers. “They thank us and share their opinions, expressing whether a song challenged them or touched them.” She recalls one of her favorite performances where the quartet played a “Turn of the Century” sampler. “It was an 1890’s medley, where we were really only familiar with one song before we arranged it,” she said. “When we started playing, the residents sang along to every tune. We learned from them that day.”
Recently, Tetra played a tribute to a recently passed resident who, in his 80’s, learned how to write music on his computer. The quartet adapted one of his pieces and played it in his memory.
“They are wise beyond their years,” said Bankofier. “Their understanding and appreciation for life and music is truly special.”