New Day Herald

Mutti, Merriment & Merrill Collins Music

It’s party time! Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and the Epiphany. Need a reminder? The Epiphany1 takes place 12 days after Christmas and celebrates the arrival of the gift-bearing Magi. To baby Jesus, the 3 Wise Men offered gold, incense and myrrh. In Shakespeare’s reference to Twelfth Night, Duke Orsino declares, “If music be the food of love, play on.”2

At the Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens (PAL&G) another wondrous party of the season transpired on November 20th. A few days before Eleanor “Mutti” Collins turned 100 years old (on November 28th.) Her daughter, award-winning composer and keyboardist, Merrill Collins poured golden oldies into the marble-floored mansion of the PAL&G. Clarinetist, Alethea Lamb, one of Merrill’s featured Spiraling Music company artists (along with other musicians3) played in the foyer. Mutti, looking like a cherubic queen, seemed to enjoy her melodic presents.

Others basked in the joyful tunes, too. PAL&G office doors were flung open and welcomed joyful melodies such as Ain’t We Got Fun. Only natural that Merrill chose uplifting standards. Like her mother, Merrill has adopted the philosophy of “creating happiness everyday.” Mutti, says Merrill, has been an inspiration for “making music everyday” and keeping the “focus on fun and joy.”

In addition to family and friends, Merrill’s musical compositions have touched countless hearts. Her works have been enjoyed by United Nations 50th Anniversary participants. In 2016, she received a Global Peace Song Award. “Music is naturally, organically and inseparably connected to life,” says Merrill, “just as the shapes of DNA/RNA are spirals within our bodies.”

The Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (MSIA) Spiritual Director, John Morton aptly signed a photo of Merrill’s mother in the garden with, “For Mutti, In Paradise Ever More.” Well, with a Merrill Collins concert, carrot cake and kisses from family and friends, who wouldn’t feel Heaven is on Earth? To quote Mutti, the centenarian with a knack for living, “Who doesn’t love a party?”

Kim Watkinson

  1. Epiphany in 2018 is Saturday, January 6th…The same day as New Year’s Resolution Spiritual Spa Day with John Morton. To reserve your seat, to reap your well-deserved gifts, click here.
  2. Shakespeare, William. Twelfth Night. Act I. Scene 1, Line 1
  3. Laura Halladay on flute, Maksim Velichkin on cello, Forrest Robinson on drums


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