Christmas at Greystone: Jazz star Grover Kemble to reflect on power of music therapy, Dec. 17, Acorn Hall



From the Morris County Historical Society:


Mention the name Grover Kemble and area music-lovers immediately think guitar and jazz – or perhaps Jimmy Durante.

Few know of his career as a talented music therapist at Greystone Park, which gained him similar accolades.

Grover Kemble brings his inimitable style to the Folk Project Fall Festival, Oct. 6-7.
Grover Kemble

Kemble will reminisce about his career and accomplishments as an innovative music therapist and the holiday celebrations at Greystone during a special Morris County Historical Society presentation on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 2 p.m. in Acorn Hall, 68 Lafayette Ave., Morristown.

Kemble’s creative occupational therapy, the holiday programs and work done by Greystone staff perpetuated Greystone physician Thomas Kirkbride’s philosophy of creating a warm and caring environment to improve the health of the mentally ill.

For example, patients performed annually in staff-assisted talent shows.

“In each production,” Kemble has written, “expressive, emotive processes take place that aid in healing and restoring psychiatric patients’ sense of personal wholeness and well-being.”

The main building at Greystone, a former psychiatric hospital that treated patients for more than a century. Photo by Berit Ollestad
The main building at Greystone, a former psychiatric hospital that treated patients for more than a century, was demolished by the state in 2015. Pictured here in 2013. Photo by Berit Ollestad

The son of a Greystone psychiatrist, Kemble began his career in therapy as a young volunteer at Greystone in the 1960s.

By the 1980s, following his formal education and with a career as a professional musician, Kemble returned to Greystone and spent more than 20 years leading, growing and broadening the hospital’s occupational therapy program.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $7 for students, and free for MCHS members and children. As seating is limited, advance ticket purchases are encouraged through the MCHS website:, or by calling MCHS at 973-267-3465.

Founded in 1945, MCHS is a member-supported 501 (c)3 organization whose mission is to preserve and promote the history of Morris County.

The MCHS receives operating funds from the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the New Jersey Historical Commission, and project/preservation grant funding from the New Jersey Historic Trust, 1772 Foundation, and Morris County Historic Preservation Trust.

The MCHS was also awarded a Sandy Disaster Relief Grant for Historic Properties by the New Jersey Historic Trust, with funds provided by the Historic Preservation Fund of the National Park Service to the NJ State Historic Preservation Office.

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