Expanding our audience through education.

The LeagueAires Annual Symposium is sponsored by the Suzanne Holmes Hodder Legacy Fund. 

About the LeagueAires Annual Symposium

Community outreach has always been at the heart of the LeagueAires mission. The LeagueAires Annual Symposium, sponsored by the Suzanne Holmes Hodder Legacy Fund, was established in 2012 to offer public educational events on the joy and healing power of music. In loving memory of Sue Hodder, an active singing member of LeagueAires for 27 years until her passing in July 2011, the Hodder family generously provided an annual gift in perpetuity to expand the mission of LeagueAires. A major component of the gift enables LeagueAires to produce community educational events exploring the transformative power of music.


April 6, 2017  – Melissa Wenszell is the MacPhail Music Therapy department CoFounder, Senior Music Therapist. She is a Neurological Music Therapist and is a Fellow through the Center for Biomedical Research in Music at Colorado State University. Melissa presented current research, best practices and experiential opportunities and utilized brain scans to demonstrate the positive effects music has on the brain.

Melissa Wenszell Flier

2016 Leagueaires Annual Symposium
“Building Community through Creative Engagement: Radical thoughts from the Frontlines of Aging” with Anne Basting

Anne Basting focuses her teaching and creative research on community-engaged performance. With a PhD in Theatre Studies from University of Minnesota, Basting is both a creative artist and scholar. She is the author of three books, including Forget Memory: Creating better lives for people with dementia (2009, Johns Hopkins UP), and dozens of articles and essays in a wide range of journals. She speaks internationally on the integration of the arts into aging services and long-term care.


cache_1066522015 LeagueAires Annual Symposium
The 2015 LeagueAires Annual Symposium featured Tim Carpenter, Founder of EngAGE, an organization that transforms senior apartment communities into vibrant centers of learning, wellness, and creativity. The LeagueAires partnered with

ArtSage and MacPhail Center for Music for the event, held in the Antonello Hall at MacPhail. Tim presented ideas on the future of life-enhancing programs and providing older adults with opportunities for community engagement through programs that nourish the mind, body, and spirit.


2013-2014 LeagueAires Annual Symposium
The 2014 LeagueAires Annual Symposium featured acclaimed men’s vocal ensemble, Cantus, who performed and gave commentary on “The Power of Music.” The nine members of Cantus are renowned for adventurous programming spanning many periods and genres, and they performed in May 2014 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis. They were joined by a pre-event concert featuring choirs from Andover High School and St. Michael-Albertville High School, both of which were part of Cantus’ 2013-2014 High School Residency program.



2012-2013 LeagueAires Annual Symposium
In its premier year, the 2012-2013 LeagueAires Annual Symposium featured Grammy-Award winning artist Libby Larsen speaking on the topic of “The Role Music Plays in Our Lifetime.” Ms. Larsen spoke in October 2012 at the Minnesota Statewide Activities Professional Association (MnSWAP) Annual Conference, with more than 400 professionals in attendance who work in activity, leisure, and recreational programs for the elderly. Ms. Larsen also spoke in February 2013 as part of the Westminster Town Hall Forum, which was rebroadcast on Minnesota Public Radio.

— Susan McKenna, Director of the Westminster Town Hall Forum

Thanks to LeagueAires, Libby Larsen’s presentation made an enormous impression on all who were in attendance at the Westminster Town Hall Forum or who were listening to the radio the next day. Tim Hart-Anderson, who’s been moderating the Westminster Town Hall Forum for 14 years, commented that this was the first time during all these years that he took notes! Like so many, he was inspired by Libby’s amazing description of the composer’s creative process. We can’t thank LeagueAires enough for bringing this special opportunity to the Town Hall Forum. It was a wonderful day and a memorable event, and I’m forever grateful!”