Mary Rorro ’91 has been asked to perform solo viola selections at the V-E Day ceremony on May 8 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. The event will be attended by U.S. veterans, at least 60 Holocaust survivors, and some members of the British Parliament.
Rorro, a staff psychiatrist practicing at the James J. Howard Veterans Affairs Clinic in New Jersey, specializes in working with veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. She says that listening to music, coupled with one-on-one psychotherapy and carefully administered medication, has helped many of her patients keep PTSD symptoms under control.
Her music-therapy program, which she calls “A Few Good Notes,” has been expanded nationally in the Veterans Administration system. Rorro’s musical approach to PTSD has been covered in several news outlets, including a recent feature on WNYC radio and New York classical music radio station WQXR (see video below).
Rorro majored in music and minored in biology at Bryn Mawr; as an undergraduate, she organized two benefit concerts for St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia for children with HIV/AIDS. In medical school at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, she founded a program called “Musical Rounds, the Next Best Thing to Grand Rounds, in which fellow students and professors played for patients in the hospital, a program she continued as during her psychiatry residency at Harvard, where she served as chief psychiatry resident.