Singing for seniors: Concert at Infinity Hall benefits Meadowbrook
By JENNIFER L. KRONHOLM – Special to The Winsted Journal
July, 30, 2010
NORFOLK — Musicians Lizzie West and Baba Buffalo of Norfolk and Michael Brown of North Canaan and Salisbury will team up Wednesday, Aug. 4, at 8 p.m. at Infinity Hall for a concert to benefit Meadowbrook Apartments.
The apartments provide low-income housing to seniors. Eleven of the 28 apartments are subsidized by HUD, but property costs are offset by fundraisers like this concert.
“Meadowbrook was created by the three churches of Norfolk — the Congregational, the Catholic and the Episcopal,” said Fran Keeping, Meadowbrook property manager. “Back in the ’70s they decided there should be affordable housing in Norfolk and set out to do it as a group.”
Meadowbrook is home to 30 seniors age 62 and older (handicapped people age 55 and older are also eligible).
The residents have done a bit of fundraising themselves. They host an annual ice cream social and raised enough to build a gazebo. Meadowbrook then paid to put in a path leading to the gazebo so that the seniors who use walkers would be able to access it.
“It’s a place where they can go so they’re not always inside,” said Keeping. “Being inside is very lonely, very isolating.”
Events like this benefit concert raise funds that help keep the mortgages at Meadowbrook low.
“The property requirements will dictate how the money will be used, but there are hundreds of ways we could make use of it,” Keeping said. “We try to have a gentle operating budget so the tenants aren’t slammed. The property is amazing and the folks are just wonderful.”
Michael Brown is a performer who often headlines benefit concerts in the Northwest Corner. He works with the students at Salisbury School and The Hotchkiss School and sometimes collaborates with singer Wanda Houston.
Brown said that when West and Buffalo approached him about the concert, he jumped at the chance.
“I love seniors!” he said. “Of course, I’m a senior now myself. I turned 55; I’m eligible for Noble Horizons. But I’ve worked extensively in nursing homes both in Virginia and Connecticut.” He’s also planning a salute to seniors for the fall.
Brown said he is excited to perform at Infinity Hall for the first time and to team up with West and Buffalo.
West and Buffalo each wear a number of hats, from singer-songwriter to producer to gardener. Their most recent collaboration was the five-song EP “Chariots Rise.” Their music blends just about every American genre — blues, folk, jazz, gospel — and has been featured in the television shows “The L Word,” “Dawson’s Creek,” “Alias” and “Third Watch.”
Brown said he will perform a bit of everything.
“I’m going to sing blues, I’m going to sing gospel, I’m going to sing show tunes, I’m going to sing standards, I’m going to sing everything,” he said.
Tickets, which are $25 and $30, are available online at infinityhall.com or by calling the Infinity Hall box office at 866-666-6306. Brown will open the show for West and Buffalo.
© Copyright 2010 by TCExtra.com
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