Saxophone songs spreading smiles at a Schenectady nursing home

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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — While the pandemic has been hard on everyone, it’s been very difficult for those who live in nursing homes, especially during those early days.

“It was awful. The residents couldn’t see their families, and it was like almost two years before I could see my son,” said Gail Bianchi, who lives at Glendale. “So yeah. It was awful.”

As of a few months ago, family members have been able to visit their loved ones outside of the Glendale Nursing home in Schenectady. On Tuesday, everyone got to enjoy a special visit thanks to a couple of guests.

Dressed up like two baseball players from the Troy Haymakers, saxophone players Luke McNamee and Josh Greenberg helped spread smiles with the sound of music as they played around the outside of the building.

“It’s a nice feature because he’s able to play and they can hear him, they can see him from the windows, the patios the porches and the music brings a lot of joy to these residents,” explained Tracie Denny, who works at Glendale.

One of the songs played was “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” which struck a cord with those at Glendale. The song of hope symbolizes better days ahead while everyone tries their best to get to the other side of this pandemic.

“That’s a song,” explained Luke McNamee. “We have been playing it. But it became so much more relevant during this pandemic because the rainbow was a sign of— people used to put it on their windows. Everyone in the house was safe and so we said, let’s put that one back in repertoire and we did.”

The residents sang along to the music which sparked memories from years ago. “It’s just so fulfilling,” said McNamee. “We see people’s faces just light up!”

It lifted the spirits of the musicians as well. “It’s nice that people are coming out and we get to play to people live once again,” said Josh Greenberg.

“It made you want to dance,” said Bianchi. “It made you feel alive. Like, you don’t have much to look forward to, but that gave you something to look forward to. For the residents that don’t get out, I thought it was great.”

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