What’s Up at Upstate

Music adds to the healing environment

Pianist Sydney Fina, 14, and the North Syracuse Junior High School performed at the Upstate Cancer Center in December.

Daylight and sunshine pour into the Upstate Cancer Center lobby through walls made of windows. For musicians who perform there, “it’s definitely inspiring,” says music program coordinator, Victoria Krukowski.

Victoria Krukowski, who plays the clarinet, is the music program coordinator for the Upstate Cancer Center. Here are five songs she would enjoy performing: * "Give Me the Simple Life," by Rube Bloom & Harry Ruby * "Send in the Clowns," by Stephen Sondheim * “Imagine,” by John Lennon * “You Are the Sunshine of My Life,” by Stevie Wonder * “The Entertainer,” by Scott Joplin

Visit the center weekdays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. — when most appointments are scheduled — and you are liable to hear music from a cello, a harp, a string quartet, a piano, or a singer. Krukowski seeks upbeat performers from a variety of genres who are willing to play music appropriate to healing — softly. Sound travels up the glass to be heard in waiting rooms above the lobby.

“It’s amazing how much it adds to the environment,” she says.

Krukowski, who plays the clarinet, performed with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra for 14 years and now performs with Symphoria. As music program coordinator at the cancer center, she selects and schedules performers.

She is not looking for elevator music, but she does not want anything too loud that would overwhelm the senses.

Tunes that are upbeat and familiar are good choices, including Broadway favorites, ‘60s and ‘70s songs that appeal to lots of people, Mozart and Bach. Beatles tunes are always a hit. “People seem to like tunes that they know,” she says.