In the spring of 2001, LBCCA began its first outreach program,
sending professional artists out to area nursing/rehabilitation
homes and long-term care facilities. The mission behind the LBCCA
Senior Outreach Program is to ensure the elderly members of our
community are not forgotten when the performing arts are offered.
For many of our senior population, attending live performances was
an integral part of their lives. It can be an additional devastation
when health, frailty and age make it impossible to travel to local
theaters to continue the practices of a lifetime.
LBCCA Senior Outreach brings professional live performance to those
who are no longer able to enjoy music and dance in the concert halls.
The first two years of this outreach were tremendously successful,
with the Debussy Trio (a classical music ensemble) touring area
senior living facilities during the first year and LBCCA board members
B-J Sherwin (president) and Barbara Rathbun (vice president) presenting
duo piano concerts during the second. Last year, Gordy, the Banjo-ologist
offered a theatrical and comic history of banjos and banjo music
to area seniors, and local performer Jan Battenfield visited more
than 30 nursing/rehabilitation homes and senior residential facilities,
spreading the healing balm of music and song to almost 1,000 music
lovers who can no longer venture out to public performances. Jans
outreach funded by LBCCA has already begun for this
year and will be one of the bright spots of the LBCCA 2003-2004
season of outreach performances.
Jan Battenfield Bringing Song
Jan Battenfield has been singing for senior citizens in the Southern
California area since 1987. She began her professional singing career
at CSULB, singing as lead vocalist in a jazz band. She later studied
opera in Zurich, Switzerland, where she performed with the Zurick
Opera Company. Back in the States, she tried her hand at the Long
Beach Civic Light Opera until she settled down, got married and
had two sons. Jan has a repertoire of over 300 songs, all of which
are memorized! She accompanies herself on an acoustic guitar, which
she taught herself to play as a teenager in Louisville, Kentucky.
One nice feature of Jans performance: She takes special requests,
allowing her audiences to select some of the songs she sings. She
has also compiled two complete 100-page songbooks (with Large Print!)
for her popular sing-a-longs. She loves what she does and she loves
who she does it for!