The healing powers of Harmony

Guest blogger: Carmel O’Donovan, on-air host of KMFA’s Sunday Matinee

I love my role as host of Sunday Matinee on KMFA, and hated having to be away from the station when I was injured in a car accident at the start of this year. That said, listening to the wonderful mix of classical music, available day and night at 89.5 as I recovered, first in hospital and then at home, is a testament to the oft-quoted adages about the power of music to heal. I think that the psychiatrist Oliver Sacks summed it up beautifully in his book Awakenings when he said, “The power of music to integrate and cure. . . is quite fundamental. It is the profoundest nonchemical medication.”

And so it was that just a week ago I witnessed another aspect of the multiple healing and empowering aspects of music. I attended a fund-raising concert for an inspirational, Austin-based non-profit organization called The Austin Harmony Project. Their mission statement proudly announces that they are “enriching the lives of the developmentally disabled through the power of art music and community.” Based in South Austin, Harmony conducts art & music sessions five days a week for developmentally disabled adults. They focus on creative self-expression, which is designed to help participants overcome physical, emotional, intellectual, and social challenges associated with their disabilities. Participants flourish in Harmony’s programs where they are valued, cared for, and given the freedom to express themselves.

The fund-raising concert mixed the voices and talents of the young people who attend Harmony with the musical talents of the executive director Tressie Seegers and her fellow musicians and friends, local musicians Tina Wilkins and Greg Whitfield. The mix of music was eclectic and entertaining, and the joy and enthusiasm evidenced by the Harmony participants raised the spirits of all who were present.

The concerts take place at regular intervals and you can find out more by visiting the website

Carmel O’Donovan is a part-time announcer on KMFA 89.5

In the KMFA Studios: Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Austin presents “Patience”

Guest blogger: Dianne Donovan, host and producer of KMFA’s Wednesday evening program, Classical Austin

It’s always entertaining, informative, and just a little topsy-turvy when The Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Austin’s Artistic Director (Ralph MacPhail, Jr) and Music Director (Jeffrey Jones-Ragona) drop by. If you missed their interview on Classical Austin (June 6th), check out the whole interview here!

The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Austin present “Patience”

Highlights from this episode: Hear all about the G.S.S.A.’s production of PatienceLearn about the first “electric” performance of this G&S opera. What makes it great? What about that missing bar of music? Patience runs from June 7th to June 17th, and you can find out more info at the G&S website:

      ~posted by Dianne Donovan, KMFA announcer and producer of Classical Austin