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Why We Sing: Bob Morris & Jon Arterton

Why and how does such a basic part of our lives—something that begins with lullabies—comfort, inspire and heal so effectively? When we sing the brain releases oxytocin and dopamine, the endorphins that promote feelings of well-being.  Neurologist Oliver Sacks and others have written about the therapeutic power of music and singing, and how it retrieves memory and expression. Recent studies show that singing in choirs promotes physical and emotional health as well.

Resident author Bob Morris and One City Chorus co-founder Jon Arterton will give a lively talk at the Museum of Fine Arts on Saturday March 25 at 1 pm. They will discuss everything from the therapeutic value of singing to why it’s okay to sing even when you can’t always hit the right notes. Chorus members will sing, audience participation will be encouraged, and voices and spirits are sure to be lifted.

Bob Morris | Why We Sing at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg Bob Morris is a frequent New York Times contributor and the author of Assisted Loving: True Tale of Double Dating with my Dad, Bobby Wonderful, Crispin the Terrible and The Legs are the Last to Go with the actress Diahann Carroll.  He is also a playwright and former NPR commentator on All Things Considered.  His journalism has appeared in the Times’ Arts and Leisure, Sunday Styles, Magazine and Op Ed sections.  In addition, he has written for the New Yorker, Vogue, New York, Town and County and Travel and Leisure.    


Jon Arterton | Why We Sing at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg Jon Arterton, who has a master’s degree in choral conducting, started as a choirboy at the National Cathedral and went on to perform on Broadway.  He founded the Flirtations, the gay a cappella group that performed at Carnegie Hall, MTV and Good Morning America. He also founded the Outer Cape Chorale in Provincetown and is the Director of Music at the Unitarian Universalist Church of St Petersburg.  In 2016, with his husband James Mack, he started the locally renowned, award-winning One City Chorus to build community and lead to better understanding between people. 


FREE for MFA Members; $10 for Not-Yet Members
Please note: Museum admission is not included
Registration Required 

This program is part of the MFA’s Picture of Health initiative. Picture of Health is a multifaceted program examining integrated concepts of various concepts of health across space and time, using our collection as a point of departure. The program cultivates an integrated exploration of health—cognitive, physical, physiological, emotional, civic, intellectual and spiritual with the goal of fostering wellbeing in our community.

Event Details

March 25, 2023

1–2 pm

Museum of Fine Arts – Marly Room

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