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Arts and Health Partnership

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SARASOTA, FL ­ Neuro Challenge Foundation, Inc. is proud to announce a partnership with Key Chorale of Sarasota, FL and Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota with the support of the Sarasota Memorial Institute for Advanced Medicine (IFAM).

A 30-member "Off-Key Chorale" of Parkinson's patients and their families will begin six weeks of practice beginning on October 30 at the IFAM.Neuro Challenge Foundation executive director, Judith Bell, says Parkinson¹s can be an isolating disease and singing is a social activity."We hope to offer a fun filled hour of entertainment and socialization while improving the vocalizations of the patients.  Loss of vocal strength is a common side effect of Parkinson¹s disease."

The Off-Key Chorale will rehearse with six volunteer members of the Key Chorale and artistic director Joseph Caulkins.  Maestro Joseph says."Thereis something intimate and personal about the human voice. Sure we all have one, some are better than others, some softer than others, and even the worst of us can manage to croak out a note or two. But there is something magical, something empowering, when one voice joins with another - suddenly the sum is greater than the individual parts, and we all are better for the effort, the experience, and just the plain fun of it."

The Off-Key Chorale will be accompanied by Artist Series Concerts co-founder and artistic director, Lee Dougherty Ross.


  • What: Off-Key Chorale
  • When: Tuesdays 12:15 -1:15p, starting Nov. 20.
  • Where: SMH's Institute for Advanced Medicine, 5880 Rand Blvd., Sarasota
  • Cost: Free

The Neuro Challenge Foundation Mission is to enhance the quality of life for people living with Parkinson Disease through education, outreach and research. NCF¹s flagship Parkinson Care Advisor Program provides free one on one advice for patients. Call 941-926-6413 x 700.

It is estimated that as many as 1.5 million people in the United States have PD. In Southwest Florida, it is projected that approximately 9,000 people have PD and another 5-10,000 are directly affected as professional or family caregivers. Although great progress has been made in understanding PD, the cause and cure are still unknown.

Parkinson Disease is a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder that affects one in 100 people over the age of 60. While the average age of onset is 62, disease onset starts by age 40 in an estimated five to 10 percent of patients, and people as young as 30 can also be affected. There is no readily-available objective test, or biomarker, for Parkinson Disease, so the rate of misdiagnosis can be relatively high, especially when the diagnosis is made by a non-specialist. Estimates of the number of people living with the disease vary, but recent research indicates that at least one million people in the U.S., and six million world-wide, have Parkinson Disease.


Media Contacts:

Judith Bell, Executive Director
NEURO CHALLENGE Foundation, Inc.
(941) 321-3747

Kim Savage
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System
(941) 917-6271

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