Cape Breton musicians use their talents to spread joy at long-term care home
Known to many as ‘The Queen of the Piano,’ Maybelle Chisholm McQueen has performed all over the world. (Courtesy: Inverary Manor Long Term Care/Facebook)
INVERNESS, N.S. -- Three Cape Breton musicians used their talents to spread joy at a Nova Scotia long-term care home.
Maybelle Chisholm McQueen has been playing piano in public since she was 10.
Known to many as ‘The Queen of the Piano,’ Maybelle has performed all over the world, including at Carnegie Hall with fiddler Ashley MacIsaac.
“She's played with everybody. She knows all the tunes, you can't stump her, and she's still as sharp as a whip. So we're lucky any chance we can get some tunes with Maybelle,” says musician Colin Grant.
The 83-year-old lives at Inverary Manor, a long-term care home in Inverness, N.S.
Due to restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the home is unable to welcome outside visitors.
Last Friday, Colin and fellow musician Chrissy Crowley decided they would grab their instruments and pay Maybelle a physically-distant visit.
On one side of the gate, Maybelle was set up with her keyboard, while Colin and Chrissy were on the other side with their fiddles.
“It's a little different, but it was a nice day, it was a beautiful day and the music sounded good everywhere. It was clear, loud, and the people loved it,” says Maybelle.
Maybelle says the visit meant a lot to her, admitting it can be lonely living in long-term care during COVID-19.
“I was so happy to have them with me, very, very happy to have them with me,” says Maybelle.
“They're two darlings in my books and they're good players.”
The feeling was reciprocated, says Chrissy.
“She brightened up our day, so I'm glad we could mutually give each other a little bit of joy during these tough times.”