Jan Dunkelberg produces LIFE Senior Services’ Musical Mondays concert series.
April 2016: Tulsa has a reputation as a city with a vibrant music scene. From red dirt and jazz to orchestral and opera, there is something for everyone. But Jan Dunkelberg learned there was something missing, especially for Tulsa’s older adults while serving as the senior center and active aging coordinator for LIFE Senior Services. She discovered many of the agency’s clients were missing out on Tulsa’s musical offerings.
“Visiting with members of our senior centers, just casually, someone would mention that an artist was coming to the Performing Arts Center or someone was coming to the Jazz Hall of Fame to perform. And I was hearing people say, ‘I’m not going.’ It was too late in the evening or because it was downtown. It was a safety concern,” she said, explaining many of the center’s members preferred not to drive downtown, especially after dark.
Dunkelberg had an idea to bring the music to the them, and LIFE’s Musical Mondays was born. Now in its 15th season, the monthly concert series first kicked off with two concerts held in the sanctuary of East Side Christian Church. It has now grown into a series of five concerts.
“The first year was a success and the goal was to extend the programming that we offer at our senior centers,” she said. “It filled part of our mission by offering entertainment that was suitable, convenient and affordable for the seniors we serve.”
Dunkelberg is now retired from LIFE Senior Services, but is still the producer of the concert series. Her goal each year is to provide a variety of local music, and this year’s lineup is a testament to the talent of Tulsa area performers.
The series kicks off April 18 with the contemporary and jazz stylings of Rick Fortner and Tavis Minner. Jazz singer Annie Ellicott takes the stage May 23. Pop, classical and gospel performed by Voices of Unity is scheduled for June 27. Olivia Duhon will perform standards and jazz on July 25, and Sounds of Music Orchestra will round off the series with their big band sound on August 22.
Performances are held at Cascia Hall’s Performing Arts Center, located at 26th Street and Utica Avenue. Doors open at 6 p.m. Performances begin at 7 p.m. Sponsors for this year’s concert series are Senior Star, Legend Senior Living, Oklahoma’s Methodist Manor, Community Care and Tapestry at Woodland Hills.
Proceeds from the concert series benefit LIFE’s two Senior Centers, located at East Side Christian Church and Southminster Presbyterian Church. The Centers offer a variety of free and low-cost activities for people over 50 years of age for just $25 per year.
Dunkelberg said concerts last about an hour, giving attendees plenty of time to drive home before dark. She added that the series has become a popular social event, with many dining out at nearby restaurants prior to the concerts, and many arriving early to socialize.
Subscriptions for all five concerts are available for $40. Single concert tickets are available for $10 at the door. To purchase tickets, call LIFE Senior Services.
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