Volunteer musicians from church lift spirits of the ailing

By Brenda Maguire

NEWINGTON — Almost every Saturday 15 to 20 members of the Three Angels Seventh-day Adventist Church in Newington take time out of their day to play music for the ill and infirm.

For 20 years the church has had a group that visits convalescent homes in Newington and New Britain playing music in an attempt to sooth those confined to their homes by failing health.

“Ninety-nine percent is (traditional) Christian music but then we’ll do a grand finale of old-time music,” said Flo Conner, a volunteer harpist from Wolcott.

Conner described the lyrics to the songs as being about “heaven with the golden streets.”

She noted that sometimes she will play a simple scale, as opposed to the melody, on her harp just so she can sing along to the words.

“They’re comforting words,” she said, adding that although the songs are Christian-based, they are appropriate for all denominations.

In addition to the harp, members play other instruments such as the piano, violin and flute. There is also a 12-year-old member who plays guitar, and many of the volunteers sing.

Recently the group posted signs around Newington offering to play “Soft, soothing Music for Sick + Hospice.”

Conner said in these scenarios it would only be a small group of two or three people coming into private homes to play soft music on the harp or on a keyboard.

To request the volunteer musicians, call Conner at (203) 706-5242.

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