The Healing Power of Music

Mick and Stacy Wetzel, musicians of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the Verdugo Hills Ward in the La Crescenta Stake, California, presented a deeply moving fireside at the Spokane Stake Center on Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 7 pm.

The theme of the fireside was The Healing Power of Music. Mick and Stacy have been members of the L.A. Philharmonic for 28 and 27 years respectively and have multiple degrees in music as well as extensive performing and teaching experience. Mick has ties to the Spokane Stake and beginning in the 8th grade was a member of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra for five seasons.

Mick (violist) and Stacy (violinist) performed works by Teleman, Haydn, Ryden, O’Connor, and ended with an arrangement of the English Easter hymn All Creatures of Our God and King by their friend Benjamin Salisbury. 

After their performance, they spoke about their personal experiences of seeing the power of music bring comfort, healing, and unity.

As members of the L.A. Philharmonic they have traveled to twenty countries on tour, including a 2018 trip to Venezuela where they experienced an electrifying feeling from the audience who clapped for about 20 min and rushed to the stage after the performance. (The music director of the L.A. Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel, hails from Venezuela.) 

Stacy spoke about the importance of hymns in worship, and she pointed out that Doctrine and Covenants Section 25:12 says that the “song of the righteous is a prayer unto me.” We should remember that when we sing hymns we are singing to the Lord. With COVID-19 restrictions in effect and congregations being forbidden to sing in church, something important is missing for Stacy and she knows many others feel the same. Mick echoed the importance of hymns to protect us from temptation and invited those in attendance to choose a “go-to” hymn for difficult times. He said that his was God’s Daily Care, hymn #306.  The evening ended with a short question and answer period that brought greater understanding about music’s unique role in those striving to live close to the Lord during these turbulent times. 

About 50 people attended in person and another 45 joined in online through a live Zoom webinar. Food and cash donations were collected for 2nd Harvest Food Bank both at the performance and the night before in Wilbur, WA when the Wetzels gave a performance for their friends. The Wetzels generously donated their time and talents. Ben Whitney and Andrew Burns, two Young Men from the Stake delivered the food and cash to 2nd Harvest on March 23, 2021. 

— By Jennifer J. Hicks, Communications Director, Spokane Stake

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