DEATHSONG: MEDIEVAL CHANT WITH DR. ELAINE STRATTON HILD

Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins:

When Dr. Elaine Stratton Hild was only 18 years old and a music conservatory student, she was volunteering at a local hospital, playing the viola. One day she was directed to the room of a particular woman who was very ill. She started playing “Amazing Grace” and in the course of the song, the woman died.

“Did I do something wrong?” she asked the hospital staff. “No,” she was told. “You didn’t do anything wrong. That woman rode your hymn right up to heaven.”

She went on to earn a Bachelor of Music in viola performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Then, poised for a career with orchestras and chamber music ensembles, she was diagnosed with a rare neurological condition. Continuing to play professionally would have meant possible paralysis in her left hand.

READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.

5 Replies to “DEATHSONG: MEDIEVAL CHANT WITH DR. ELAINE STRATTON HILD”

  1. Thank you, Heather. My sister lives in Fort Collins and my Mom lives nearby. I will tell them about this wonderful ministry.
    Ron

  2. Ingrid Christensen says: Reply

    Heather, you find the most amazing stories!! Oh how we need the gift of beautiful music!! That was very moving. I emailed the young lady for ideas of music I can share with my elderly patients. Thank you so much!!!

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Dr. Hild is a gem–I came away from our conversation inspired, consoled, and energized…thanks, Ingrid–glad you’re there.

  3. Phillip Aller says: Reply

    Thanks Heather. I sit with the dying in their final hours. This is something of a new revelation for me.

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Oh, well you will appreciate Dr. Hild’s work as few others can, I imagine–I’m glad you saw this piece, Phillip–and you do good work.

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