Tucked into a toasty corner of the Barbara & Bill Richardson Pavilion on a cold winter night, UNM Hospital patients and staff, along with Health Sciences Center (HSC) employees, were treated to a very special concert made possible by the generous gift of a Baldwin grand piano by Karen-Lynn Fiato. Fiato donated the instrument in memory of her late husband, Daniel Garza.
"This was an exceptional evening of music performed by truly talented artists from within UNM's Health Sciences Center," said Veronica Reed, a professional director and UNM alum credited with coordinating the evening's performance. While the frigid wind howled outside on an early January evening, about 60 people from all corners of UNM's North Campus gathered near the fireplace, sampling sumptuous sweets while taking in a breadth of music and entertainment that included Country Western, Classical, Jazz, Middle Eastern, and other ethnic musical genres. The price of admission? A book donation to UNM Children's Hospital.
"This inaugural presentation of ‘Sounds & Sweets' was a wonderfully intimate event that pulled people from all parts of our health care home into an elegant space in the Pavilion to share a unique energy and mood that only live music can evoke," says UNM Pediatrician Dr. Courtney Johnson, who helped to develop and coordinate the event. "Karen Fiato's gift is so unusual and wonderful. Our patients and staff will enjoy this particular donation for years to come," adds Sheena Ferguson, UNM Hospital's chief nursing officer who accepted the donation.
The idea of such an in-house concert came from Johnson's colleague at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo. Delectable sweets were provided by UNMH Food & Nutrition Services, and the piano was masterfully tuned by UNM Department of Music's Fred Sturm. With collaboration from HSC administration and staff, the UNM Music Department, and UNMH administration and nursing staff, "Sounds and Sweets" is expected to be an annual event.
"We enjoyed great support from within UNM, but also from Jersey Jacks and Serafian's Oriental Rugs, who provided additional food and elegance for the event," Johnson adds. "It's important that we do right by our supporters. With this particular gift, we wanted to bring together patients, physicians, and staff to celebrate Ms. Fiato's generosity, and to enjoy an eclectic blend of musical performances – a gift to patients of all ages and to those here who help heal."