Westerville singer focuses repertoire on hope during pandemic

MARLA K. KUHLMAN
mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com
Westerville's Natalie Tangeman entertains Inniswood Village residents May 23 at the facility, 1195 North St. in Westerville.

Westerville's Natalie Tangeman has been taking a little bit of Broadway to socially isolated residents at Inniswood Village, 1195 North St. in Westerville.

On May 23, Tangeman, 17, placed a portable speaker on a sidewalk to play music from a cellphone to accompany her while she sang for residents who moved to their patios and balconies to listen.

The rising senior at Columbus School for Girls sang show tunes, including "Show Me" from "My Fair Lady" and "If I Were A Bell" from "Guys and Dolls."

"I'm preparing to audition for college programs to pursue a degree in acting and musical theater," said Tangeman, a Westerville native.

She said a family friend works for National Church Residences, and she volunteered in the memory-care unit at Inniswood Village last year.

"We live 10 minutes away," she said. "I organized activities last year and it was a good experience."

Tangeman said she thought about ways she could help out during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

"I thought singing might be a way to help, because visiting is so limited," she said. "I enjoy performing for real people."

Tangeman said she tried to select songs that have messages of moving forward with hope and positivity to spread joy.

Inniswood resident Nancy Griffiths, her poodle, Tootsy, and her friends, Corlyss Richards and Hazel Koschny, took a stroll and caught some of Tangeman's performance.

"We had two guys come and play guitar and sing in the back of a pickup," Richards said. "I do get anxious being alone so much."

Griffiths said Tootsy, 5, keeps her company.

"I manage well," Koschny said. "There are lots of things to do."

Resident Colin Dill said he misses the fellowship of others in the cafeteria, which has been closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

He said he still "just loves" the facility's cranberry juice.

He said Inniswood Village residents have always been able to count on a good school choir for entertainment in the past.

Cindy Young, Dill's daughter and vice president of public relations for National Church Residences, said Inniswood is a socially active community.

"When the shelter-in-place (directive was ordered), gathering was more challenging," she said.

"The team has been creative with ways to connect."

She said Inniswood has offered a "Rolling Happy Hour" with employees taking refreshments around on a cart.

"They've had themes for Cinco de Mayo and on Mother's Day, they delivered packages with gifts and treats," Young said. "They will also do that for Father's Day. Spontaneously, there have been people who helped lighten the spirit."

She said Groveport's Cuthbert Greenhouse, a family-operated, multigenerational business, had excess Easter flowers and donated 2,800 plants to support residents in National Church Residences assisted-living campuses in central Ohio, including Inniswood Village.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla