Residents, Composer Work Together to Create New Music

Denis Nassar is a favourite with residents at both Fish Creek and Garrison GreenNot only is he an award-winning composer, arranger and pianist but his connection with his audiences makes his performances memorable.

Denis, who is a full-time music instructor at Prairie College in Three Hills, has introduced a very popular and fun musical composition experience to the residents. 

Instead of simply performing, Denis asks residents to participate in composing a new song.

Composer Denis Nassar works with residents to compose new music

Composer Denis Nassar works with residents to compose new music.

I will assign a number to each of the notes in the major scale. Each resident chooses a number and that corresponds to the notes I play. I play them in the order I get them, create variations of that melody, add chords and together we compose a song on the spot. It’s a very special experience!

Denis Nassar

Residents of Garrison Green worked with Denis last Saturday to create their own song.

While we can perform live again, the number of residents permitted at each performance is limited, so I performed in two sessions, with the residents in the first session contributing to the first half of the song, and the residents in the second session contributing to the second half. I think the end result is fantastic!

- Denis Nassar

Music composing at United Active Living

Being able to participate in creating the song was really terrific. He wanted us to be a part of the program, not just sit back and listen. The song was quite harmonious. Everyone participated. It was a very positive experience. He also played a number of popular show tunes and songs from old movies, which had everyone laughing and humming along.

-  Jackie Naylor, Garrison Green resident

Denis and residents wrote a song before COVID, but he was unable to play the completed version for them until just recently.

"There was no live music for more than a year, but when I returned and played the song for them, it immediately brought back the memory of the day we created it.”

Denis says he often plays songs in concerts that have special memories for him. “Music transports us back in time and brings out specific memories. Photos do that as well. What if we wrote a song that captures a moment in time – a musical version of a photograph?”

To listen to a composition that residents at Garrison Green co-created with Denis, click here.

Wondering if a Retirement Living Community like United Active Living is right for you or a loved one?

  • United's residences are perfect for you if you love being creative, enjoy lifelong learning, and experiencing new things.
  • United's residences are perfect for you if you do not want to be defined by your medical conditions, but rather want to live life on your terms - focused on your strengths, abilities and interests.

Here is what our residents say about living at one of United Active Living's residences:

Trudy Martin

...two steps below heaven.

Living at Garrison Green is like two steps below heaven. It really really is. Everything is provided.

- Trudy Martin | Resident

Sharyn Krause

We never separate couples based on their medical needs.

"We are completely satisfied that United Active Living will be providing for us as a couple. We can be independent if we like to. And we can have assistance if we like to. But we can go through it together."

- Sharyn & Landis Krause | Residents

Diane Osberg

...the level of lifelong learning experience

"When I saw the level of lifelong learning experience that United offered, it only took me a week to decide that this was a place I wanted to live."

- Diane Osberg | Resident

Give us a call or visit our information pages below to learn more!

United Active Living's Garrison Green

3028 Don Ethell Boulevard SW
Calgary, AB T3E 0C9

United Active Living's Fish Creek

51 Providence Boulevard SE
Calgary, AB T2X 0X2

"I’m thankful that I’m here"

I’m thankful that I’m here. If I was in my own home, I wouldn’t be going anywhere. I would be quite concerned being on my own, but I don’t feel that here.

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The employees are to be applauded for going above and beyond to help to keep a positive environment. Today, there are more programs opening up, more exercise classes and more programs in the theatre.


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