Alzheimer’s benefit concert is a personal tribute from Columbia choirs

Brandon Boyd will hold two saintly women close when he ascends the conductor’s podium Saturday night.

The first is his late grandmother, who loved him as a mother before dying with Alzheimer’s disease in 2013.

The second, his undergraduate piano professor, who showed Boyd remarkable generosity. She died in 2020, also having suffered from dementia.

Boyd, a professor of music at the University of Missouri, will share conducting duties with Columbia Chorale leader Emily Edgington Andrews during “In the Dark and Light.” Featuring the Chorale, MU Concert Chorale and Leme Ensemble, Saturday’s concert will benefit the local chapter of Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

These two women informed Boyd’s music in immeasurable ways, guiding his heart and hands. And he knows he isn’t alone — many fathers, mothers, teachers and loved ones will loom large Saturday night, silently spurring Columbia musicians toward their songs.

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