Lauren Latessa | Bethesda Magazine

Women in Business Profiles

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Lauren Latessa

Music Enrichment Manager, Ring House Independent Living Charles E. Smith Life Communities

6121 Montrose Road

Rockville

20852

301-816-5000

smithlifecommunities.org

What motivates and inspires you?

I have seen firsthand the role music can play in finding peace, meaning and joy during stressful times and am driven to use my expertise—Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from the Peabody Conservatory and Master of Music in Cello Performance from Northwestern University—to help others. Studies have shown the positive effects music can have on our health, both physically and mentally. According to an NEA Creativity and Aging study, programs run by professional musicians and artists improve the overall well-being and health of older adults. I feel fortunate that I can develop programs to enrich the quality of life—and enhance the vibrancy—of our residents. Through performances, lectures, small groups and individual music classes, I strive to cater musical opportunities to residents’ needs.

What do you look forward to when you go to work?

I’ve always been intrigued by the use of music as a tool in developing a sense of community, and love connecting with everyone in our senior living community. There’s so much kindness and wisdom. I enjoy listening to residents’ life stories and learning from their experiences. I’m inspired—and go home with a new appreciation for the life I have—every day.

Is there a project you’re particularly proud of?

In 2015, my first year at Ring House, a Tarisio Trust Young Artist grant enabled us to bring three guest artists for chamber music festivals. Following that program’s success, I worked with our lifestyle and leisure team to develop the Ring House and Landow House Music Project, bringing professional classical musicians to our campus throughout the year. We’re honored our program has been recognized by the Association of Jewish Aging Services and the National Arts Strategies.

“I’ve always been intrigued by the use of music as a tool in developing a sense of community…”

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