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Striking a chord

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2008 - Spring


In mid-December about 90 musicians—students and faculty in medicine and public health—took the stage in Harkness Auditorium with their strings, woodwinds and brass. “It was a fun, lovely, wonderful evening,” recalled Lynn T. Tanoue, M.D. ’82, HS ’85, associate professor of medicine, describing the informal sight reading of music by Vivaldi, Rossini and Beethoven. It was also the first gathering of a group that Tanoue and Thomas P. Duffy, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the Program for Humanities in Medicine, hope will become the Yale Medical Symphony Orchestra.

The orchestra has “clearly tapped into a desire,” said Tanoue. She learned to play the violin as a child; as an adult she played in the Yale Symphony and a New Haven community orchestra but had to stop when her children were born. Fifteen years later she was ready to return to an orchestra. “Many of us were very dedicated musicians at another time in our lives,” she said, “but there usually aren’t any opportunities at the medical school to do this.”

Duffy sees the orchestra, which receives financial support from the School of Medicine and Yale-New Haven Hospital, as a way to build bridges among people in the schools and departments of the medical campus. “It’s a real opportunity to create a community amidst the community,” he said.

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