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Arlington woman launches music therapy program in Littleton

Music therapist Romy Ikauniks Wilhelm of Arlington works at the Indian Hill Music School in Littleton. Music therapist Romy Ikauniks Wilhelm of Arlington works at the Indian Hill Music School in Littleton.
By Cindy Cantrell
Globe Staff / November 20, 2011

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HEALING MUSIC: Arlington resident Romy Ikauniks Wilhelm credits her late grandmother, Carey Prouty of Littleton, with instilling in her a love of music. Wilhelm is now carrying on the family’s musical tradition as a licensed music therapist at Indian Hill Music School in Littleton, where Prouty was a board member for six years.

Wilhelm leads music therapy programs for individuals and groups of all ages and abilities. Designed for those with cognitive, physical, or developmental impairments, including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, music therapy can include drumming, hand-percussion instruments, movement, and singing to help participants focus, build social skills, and express themselves.

Wilhelm noted that this form of therapy is “nonthreatening and accessible for everyone,’’ and provides benefits at any level of participation.

Wilhelm, who has music degrees from Tufts University in Medford and Lesley University in Cambridge, said she is pleased to be working at the organization that meant so much to her grandmother, who died last fall at age 95.

An accomplished soprano who also taught piano, Prouty had donated funds to Indian Hill for a new grand piano. Now her own cherished Steinway is on loan there.

“I think my grandmother would be delighted at the way things turned out,’’ Wilhelm said. “It’s been a fantastic journey.’’

While Wilhelm’s music therapy programs are held at the Indian Hill school, she says she would like to offer future sessions in senior residences, group homes, or agencies. For more information, call Wilhelm at 978-486-9524, ext. 108, e-mail romy@indianhillmusic.org, or visit www.indianhillmusic.org.

HANDS-ON ROLE: A Newton student is one of 10 young actors in the Boston Children’s Theatre production of “The Velveteen Rabbit.’’

Sixteen-year-old Alex Levy, a junior at Newton South High School, operates a puppet - Timothy the Wooden Lion - from beneath the stage.

Levy previously performed in “Little Women’’ with Boston Children’s Theatre. He has also appeared in numerous productions at Newton South, including “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,’’ “Ruling Passion,’’ “Hairspray,’’ and “Sweet Charity.’’

The show runs Dec. 3 through 18 at the Boston Center for the Arts’ Roberts Theatre, 539 Tremont St. in Boston.

For details, call 617-424-6634, ext. 222, or visit the troupe’s website, www.bostonchildrenstheatre.org.

FOUR-PART VICTORY: Sounds of Concord, a regional men’s a cappella chorus, took first place in the Barbershop Harmony Society’s Northeastern District championship last month.

Sounds of Concord competed against 14 barbershop choruses from throughout the northeastern United States and Canada during the event in Chicopee, where they were judged on singing quality, musicality, and presentation.

As the district’s champions, Sounds of Concord will compete in the Barbershop Harmony Society’s international finals, being held in July in Portland, Ore.

The nonprofit Sounds of Concord is made up of about 50 men primarily from Greater Boston. Under the direction of Dan Costello of Pembroke, the chorus performs in local fund-raisers and supports the Barbershop Harmony Society’s youth programs. Rehearsals take place every Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Temple Emunah, 9 Piper Road in Lexington.

For more information, visit www.soundsofconcord.org.

HELPING ENVIRONMENT:Eighteen-year-old Ben Kaplan of Lexington recently completed the Trustees of Reservations’ Charles River Youth Corps Program. Launched in the summer of 2010, the program provides teens with job experience in sustainable park and greenway management practices.

Kaplan, a graduate of Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School in Waltham, worked with three other teens to help maintain the Upper Charles River Greenway in Newton, Watertown, Waltham, and Weston, as well as the Wilson Mountain Reservation in Dedham. They cleared more than 2 miles of overgrown greenway, removed invasive Japanese knotweed, led work days with volunteers and private groups, and assisted in removing 5 tons of invasive water chestnut from the Charles River in Newton.

The Charles River Youth Corps is part of a statewide Youth Conservation Corps program operated by the Trustees of Reservations, the nation’s oldest nonprofit, statewide land conservation organization.

FASHION ADVICE: Weston native Marissa Evans (above), founder and chief executive of Go Try It On, will host an interactive lecture on Nov. 29, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., in Mount Ida College’s Carlson Hall Auditorium, 777 Dedham St. in Newton.

Evans, who lives in New York, will share her journey as a fashion entrepreneur and demonstrate her fashion advice website, through which members post photos of themselves and receive immediate feedback on their outfits.

The free event is being hosted by students of Roberta Steinberg, an English professor at Mount Ida and director of its English and humanities department.

For more information, visit www.gotryiton.com.

Cindy Cantrell can be reached at cantrell@globe.com.


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