WILLOUGHBY, Ohio (WKBN) – Todd Cutshaw moved to Howland from Cleveland when he was in high school, where he started mastering the piano.
For over 30 years, he’s performed across the country, including in nursing homes, before COVID-19.
He recently performed for one lucky fan, 92-year-old Helen Meditz, from the parking lot of her nursing home in Willoughby, where she watched from her balcony.
Soon, several other residents watched from their balconies as well.
“About half an hour into it, they had other people out on the balcony listening and residents walking by. We ended up having about 30-40 people out there for the concert,” Cutshaw said.
Staff and residents kept a safe distance while enjoying the show and even got to pick some songs.
“Well, they were loving it, and they were shouting out requests. I was mainly trying to cater to Helen since it was for her, but I was taking some other requests too. Helen wanted to hear… other than the old stuff, she liked Dean Martin and that sort of thing, but she also wanted to hear Copacabana,” Cutshaw said.
While singing Meditz’s favorite, along with the other requests during the 90-minute performance, Cutshaw had to read the lyrics off of his cell phone while wearing PPE.
“Reading the lyrics like this and playing with my left hand and singing with a mask,” Cutshaw said.
There were no complaints from Meditz or anyone else. Plus, the music sounded great.
Throughout his career, Cutshaw says nursing home residents are one of his favorite groups to play for.
“I like entertaining people and I feel like there’s great value in, you know, people that are in their last stop of life,” Cutshaw said.
Cutshaw is eager to perform indoors for big groups again but understands health and safety come first.
“I personally believe that safety is still important. As much as I’d like to play in the nursing homes again, I think we got to be careful,” Cutshaw said.