Allison Perry

UK Arts in HealthCare, Lexington Philharmonic Bring World-Class Music to Students and Patients

Published: Feb 13, 2014

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Video by UK Public Relations and Marketing


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 13, 2014) -- Internationally renowned classical guitarist named Pablo Sainz Villegas is coming to Lexington for a performance with the Lexington Philharmonic. No doubt his performance will be an unparalleled musical experience.


But the real story isn’t about his concert.


Villegas will be quite busy both before and after his performance on Feb. 14. On Feb. 13, Villegas will lead a guitar Master Class with students from the University of Kentucky School of Music.  And on Feb. 15, the UK Arts in HealthCare Program is partnering with The Philharmonic to bring Villegas and his music to middle and high school students. 


And Lexington wouldn't likely see Villegas at all if it weren’t for Dr. Ron Saykaly and his (now deceased) wife Teresa Garbulinska Saykaly, who established a Performer in Residence Series and the annual Saykaly-Garbulinska Concert to expose Lexingtonians to international musical talent.


Through the efforts of this unlikely trio of non-profit organizations and philanthropists, many Lexingtonians will have the opportunity to meet, interact and observe a musician of international caliber -- even if they can't afford a ticket to the concert itself.


The day before Villegas' performance with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra at the Singletary Center for the Arts, a handful of lucky UK School of Music students will spend several hours with Villegas to observe and learn from the Christopher Parkening International Guitar Competition gold medalist.


At the Saykaly-Garbulinska Concert on Feb. 15, Villegas will perform for about 300 middle and high school students in the Pavilion A Auditorium at Albert B. Chandler Hospital, followed by a bilingual (English and Spanish) Q&A session with Villegas and Philharmonic Director Scott Terrell.  At 3 p.m., the events open to the public, including performances by the School of Music classical guitar students, demonstrations by the UK HealthCare music therapy program, and an Instrument Petting Zoo organized by LexPhil where children can have a hands-on interaction with a variety of orchestral instruments. The entire event will be broadcast to patient rooms at Chandler and at Good Samaritan, which means an even broader audience will have access to Villegas' internationally recognized talent.


"We are so fortunate to have this collaboration, all of us working together to make the event possible," Jackie Hamilton, director of UK HealthCare's "Arts in HealthCare" Program.  "Music has an impact on us in so many ways -- including healing -- and this event is a wonderful way to demonstrate that."


The Saykalys have had a life-long love affair with classical music. Both studied piano, and Garbulinska performed in the United States and Europe, including New York’s Carnegie Hall. Furthermore, Ron Saykaly is a physician, so helping to underwrite an educational music experience in a health care setting was a natural fit.


Dr. Saykaly feels his efforts to bring world-class performers to Lexington has a meaningful effect on society just by giving people an opportunity to expand their musical knowledge and experience.


Doctors, composers, musicians, philanthropists and health care organizations converge to expose students, patients, children, and ordinary citizens to the world of music. It's partnerships like these that are generating the "meaningful effect" Saykaly said.

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