Music Student Becomes Capstone Village’s Own Artist in Residence

Graduate student Trisha Whiteside and the Capstone String Quartet perform in the monthly Artist in Residence Concert at Capstone Village.

Doctoral student Trisha Whiteside’s monthly concert for the retirees at Capstone Village — her neighbors — bridges the age divide as only music can.

A smile lit up Betty Edwards’ face as she swayed her head from side to side to the soothing melody of Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Adagio ma non troppo” played during the Artist in Residence with the Capstone String Quartet Concert held at Capstone Village.

Edwards is 78 years old and began living at the on-campus retirement community four months ago. She said she grew up listening to her mother play the cello and viola, so the concert made her feel like she was a little girl back home during a treasured time in her life.

“I love the concerts,” she said. “It reminds me of my childhood. I appreciate them coming out and playing for us and I look forward to it again.

“Capstone Village always has special events that we can participate in.”

The monthly concert features Trisha Whiteside, a 28-year-old Greenville, South Carolina native pursuing a doctorate in musical arts in viola performance at UA’s School of Music.

Capstone Village residents listen to the monthly Artist in Residence Concert featuring graduate student Trisha Whiteside and the Capstone String Quartet.

Whiteside, who is a member of the Capstone String Quartet – one of the premier string quartets at the University – performs concerts for Capstone Village residents as part of an as-of-yet nameless, yearlong pilot program.

Rene’ Katsinas, director of Capstone Village resident services, said Whiteside was chosen as the first graduate student to live in Capstone Village as part of the program. She’s been there since August and has performed monthly since September.

“They pay what they would as a graduate student who would live in the graduate dorms but they live at Capstone Village instead. Her husband has since moved here with her so we have them both as community members and it’s nice to see them around the building.”

Whiteside said the program provides her a significant discount on rent and allows her to live in a beautiful facility. She’s happy with the arrangement.

“Everyone is really sweet,” she said. “It’s a great performance opportunity for me and I’ve heard nothing but good things. We’ve had some rehearsals we did at the end of the hall and residents will come and chat with us, listen for a little while and then leave.

Graduate student Trisha Whiteside and the Capstone String Quartet perform in the monthly “Artist in Residence” concert at Capstone Village.

“It’s been a good way to interact and hopefully it’s entertaining for them as well. It’s definitely been a great community to be a part of. It’s different than just being a student. It’s been a pleasure so far.“

Katsinas said they try to offer an average of 122 on and off-site activities monthly for residents during the nine-month school year. Many of those activities are concerts.

“Choice is what people need at all ages so they can be as active as they want to be. But we love music. Some residents will only come out for music.

“Music is very important to Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Music is a long-term memory factor and people respond extremely well to it. They become very engaged and show orientation to time and place. So it’s good for people of all levels of cognitive function from the infant to the 99 year old.”

Whiteside’s next Artist in Residence concert will be at the Capstone Village holiday social at 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 20.

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.