‘Music at the MART’ Brings Solace to Cancer Center Patients

Music at the mart
Left to right: Michael Ardolino, Christina Faber, Maria Aubry and Paul Newland

In a collaborative effort to provide cancer patients the therapeutic benefits of live music, “Music at the MART,” funded by Michael Ardolino/Realty Connect USA, was created by the Staller Center’s Educational Outreach Program in partnership with the Stony Brook University Department of Music and the Stony Brook Cancer Center. The Cancer Center’s outpatient services are on levels 5 and 6 in the Medical and Research Translation (MART) building, where outstanding musicians provide music for patients before they go to an appointment or receive infusion therapy every Wednesday from 1 pm to 2:30 pm.

The Staller Center’s Educational Outreach Program already collaborates with Stony Brook’s Department of Music through the Instrument Petting Zoo (IPZ), hiring skilled musicians to perform at interactive workshops for kids ages three to eight called in libraries, non-profits and other venues. The IPZ concept was then modified for adults and became “Music at the MART.”

“The Stony Brook Music Department is thrilled to begin this collaboration between its music students and the Cancer Center,” said violinist Stephanie Bonk. “‘Music at the Mart’ allows music students to perform in the Stony Brook community, and gives them the chance to connect with patients and hopefully offer a little comfort during these times.”  

Christina Faber, director of Cancer Center Support Services at the Stony Brook Cancer Center, and Paul Newland, director of Educational Programming at the Staller Center, made a connection after the opening night of the 2022 Stony Brook Film Festival. They discussed a shared vision and how they might incorporate music into the Cancer Center.

Michael Ardolino, a community leader in the Three Village area who supports several campus initiatives, was interested in the idea and offered to help launch it. “The Music at the MART program is an amazing way to support the arts while impacting the lives of patients receiving care and, maybe, even bring a smile to the faces of the Stony Brook Cancer Center staff. I’m thrilled to support the pilot program and to help get it started,” said Ardolino. 

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