CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — In the lobby of CHRISTUS Spohn Shoreline sits a piano. That piano was donated earlier this month in loving memory of Evelyn Mary Hammermann Cuiper, by her daughter Karen Urban.
“The sound of music, I think, alleviates some concerns and fears on the pat of associates, and mostly patients,” Urban said.
The idea to donate the piano to the hospital was inspired by the time Urban and her husband spent at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
“There was a grand piano in the lobby of the Gonda building, and it was played every single day,” she said.
The piano was in Urban’s family for nearly 50 years. Before her mother passed away, she brought up the idea of donating the piano, since neither Urban, nor her husband, played piano, so it would not have been played at home.
“I said if we put it in the lobby of CHRISTUS Spohn, thousands of ears would hear the music that you love,” she said.
Urban said her mother was excited by that prospect.
“She lit up like a Christmas tree, I’ve used that expression before. She was really delighted, she loved music. She was concert pianist trained, she could play by ear,” she said.
Stephen Kazanjian, the Vice President of Mission Integration at CHRISTUS Spohn, has know Urban for several years. He said he was not surprised that Urban would give such a generous donation to the hospital, and that it adds to the experience at Shoreline hospital.
“I think it was Dick Clark who said, ‘music is the soul of our lives.’ My mom was a music teacher for 20 years, and I have always appreciated music, and especially music in Sacred Liturgy. Of course, the piano sits outside of our beautiful chapel here at Spohn Shoreline. So, it’s just a reminder that music is a universal language, and I think it’s one way we lift our minds and our hearts up to our creator, to our good God,” he said.
When you walk into the lobby of Shoreline, you can hear the piano immediately.
“There’s so much traffic through the lobby of this beautiful north tower, there are so many who are going to benefit just from the uplifting spirit of music,” Kazanjian said.
“Patients come here in need, and for them to come here and hear music, I think it helps our patient outcomes. It also fulfills something that’s very important to me, and that is that we extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ everyday,” Urban said. “It’s a real honor, and a privilege to donate a family treasure to a legacy, a long-filled legacy, here at CHRISTUS Spohn.”