Concerts in the Courtyard

Photography by Wes Battoclette

As the cold recedes and flowers become more prevalent than snowflakes, people begin to move their daily activities outside. In Cincinnati, there’s no shortage of warm weather events in which to participate, but there are few that combine delicious food, music, a light-hearted family atmosphere and span the entirety of the summer. For seven days, community members can join the residents at Hyde Park Health Center in celebrating the summer days at the Summer Concert Series in the Courtyard.

The Summer Concert Series features a delightful variety of activities with a new theme every day. Jeanne Pope, human resources director for Hyde Park Health Center, and one of the chief planners of the event, says the idea for the concert series stemmed from the desire to use the beautiful courtyard, with its central fountain, to its full potential. Now the event has hit its stride and is eagerly anticipated by residents and employees of the retirement facility as well as local families and communities.

“The interactions you see from everyone at the event are so positive,” says Pope. “There’s so much great teamwork to make it happen, and everyone is able to showcase their strengths and new ideas. And the food is amazing – last year, people ate until they looked like they’d pop.”

Sarah Ostrow, director of assisted living at Hyde Park Health Center, is also a chief planner for the event. She says that the allure is how diverse the visitors are – followers of bands like Alter Egoz, families with young children and Boy Scout troops are all packed in with residents and staff, dining on chef Ken Jaffe’s culinary creations and enjoying themselves. “We’ve had people coming in who have never been to Hyde Park Health Center,” says Ostrow. “We also bring over residents from a nearby community, Cambridge Arms. A lot of those residents have friends who live here, and we set up a VIP shelter for them for the concerts – they love it.”

A different theme – in entertainment and cuisine – is showcased each night of the concert series. From bluegrass to soul to swing night,  everyone can find something to enjoy. For those less interested in dancing, the delicious food and enticing raffle prizes are plenty to keep one occupied during the two-hour event. “We get residents who normally stay in their rooms coming out into the courtyard to listen to the music and check out the food,” says Ostrow. “Everyone’s so interactive, and on the nights that feature DJ Big Daddy Walker, there’s karaoke and everyone can get their five minutes of fame.”

The Summer Concert Series in the Courtyard is unique in its environment, atmosphere and entertainment. The themes of the evening’s activities create such a vivid cultural experience framed by an umbrella atmosphere of community and care.

Hyde Park Health Center offers skilled nursing, short term rehabilitation, assisted living and memory care. It is located at 4001 Rosslyn Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45209. You can reach them at 513.272.0600 or visit their website at