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At Wind Crest, classically trained musicians find community

November 20, 2019

Entertainment opportunities abound on senior living campus in Highlands Ranch

Highlands Ranch, Colo. – November 20, 2019 – A professional pianist for over 50 years and professor of piano at Metropolitan State College of Denver (now a university) for 34 years, Susan Cable has devoted her life to music. When she discovered Wind Crest, a senior living community developed and managed by Erickson Living, she not only discovered a "marvelous" concept for retirement living, she also uncovered a whole new community of musicians and classical music enthusiasts like herself.

Susan is among the majority of adults who place a high value on having the opportunity to enjoy entertainment including musical performance in their leisure time, research shows.

"Our residents and incoming residents are enthusiastic about participating in a variety of on-campus activities on a regular basis, especially attending lectures and live performances," says Wind Crest Sales Counselor Sandy Shelpuk.

The entertainment offerings at Wind Crest are an integral part of the community's distinctive lifestyle, providing residents with the chance to pursue their passions, continue learning and socialize.

'Joy of my life'

Susan started playing on a grand piano when she was three or four and began lessons at age seven. "I knew early on that I wanted to be a pianist," she says.

A third generation native of Denver, her life path fortuitously took her to many places of opportunity to enhance her skills, including Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. "Studying at the Mozarteum was one of the most amazing years of my life," she says.

Throughout her career, she played hundreds of solo and chamber music concerts at Metro State and throughout Colorado and the U.S. "The majority of my concerts were chamber music with numerous musicians from the Colorado Symphony," she says.

"That was the joy of my life. But as I say that, moving here is the second joy in my life, finding out there are so many musicians here," she says. "I feel like my musical life has re-blossomed, giving me opportunities to make music with other fine musicians and hear a lot of concerts in the arts and enrichment center on campus. I'm amazed at how many people like classical music here."

Susan lives down the hall from another couple who has a seven-foot Steinway piano in their apartment. She managed to bring hers as well, and it fits comfortably in her spacious apartment, thanks to its open floor plan. Susan never has to worry about bothering a neighbor when she practices, thanks to the careful design and thoughtful construction of each apartment home on Wind Crest's picturesque campus.

Musical connections

In addition, Susan has connected and performs with other talented musicians living at Wind Crest, including Cynthia Norman, the assistant principal cellist in the Arapahoe Philharmonic and concert pianist Faye Yoder.

"These two fine musicians and I will be performing in a Learners' Academy class on Classical Music Genres taught by Mary Jo and Doyle Preheim this coming February and March. We will also be performing in the classical music concert next spring, March 20 and 22, 2020," she says.

Wind Crest's Learners' Academy taps into the experience and talent of residents to offer continuing education on campus by neighbors, for neighbors. Classes can cover any discipline or topic, not just music.

As Susan mentioned, fellow Wind Crest neighbors and musicians Mary Jo Preheim, a pianist, and Doyle Preheim, a baritone singer, will teach an upcoming course on Classical Music Genres. This past fall, Warren Lawrence, resident director of the community's concert band taught a course entitled "Music and the Brain".

Even more to enjoy

On top of these educational opportunities, many Wind Crest residents enjoy attending on-campus musical performances by outside entertainment and by some of their own. The community has its own concert band, chorale, and Dixieland band. A new, state-of-the-art arts and enrichment center serves as the perfect venue for musical events, centrally located within the community.

"Not only was I really shocked that there were so many musicians here, I've heard so many concerts, probably ten concerts here in the A&E center, which is like a concert hall, in the five months since I've been here at Wind Crest. But also, the people that I'm playing with, we're on the same page musically, which is rare. Our ideas of expression are so similar, it happens so easily. It's just a joy," Susan says.

Wind Crest is a not-for-profit organization developed and managed by Erickson Living®. The community is governed by its own board of directors affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of the community.

About Wind Crest: Wind Crest, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 84-acre campus in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. The not-for-profit community of more than 1,400 residents and 800 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of the community. Additional information can be found at

Photo Credit: Julia Collins

Photo Caption: In addition to performances, Susan Cable enjoys the opportunity to continue teaching adult pianists and piano teachers as part of her active retirement lifestyle at Wind Crest, a senior living community located in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.