Orchestra cellist uses talents to calm shelter pets

- As Natalie Helm plays the Cello, her music takes over the room.

"It has such a wonderful power to it. It can make a room full of people smile or make a room full of people cry," she said.

It can also catch the attention of a room full of animals.

"I had no idea how they would react," she said.

Natalie is the Principal Cellist for the Sarasota Orchestra. For the first time in her life she performed a concert for man's best friend. Seated in the middle of a row of kennels, Natalie's music carried throughout the Humane Society of Sarasota County.

"It was funny at first. They were like what is going on here," she said.

As she continued playing, the room turned peaceful.

"They all kind of calmed down and laid down on their beds," Natalie remarked.

After moving to Sarasota three months ago she began spending her spare time at the Humane Society. She has played for a host of audiences before, but never for animals. It was one day when she was here visiting the dogs that she thought why not mix her two loves together.

"I know it's very cliché, but music is a language that everyone appreciates and understands," she said.

Even the dogs seem to agree.

"It really effects them as much as it does humans. We love enriching their lives here and we know that they've had such a tough go," said Christen Benson the executive director of the Sarasota county humane society.

Natalie hopes her performance will leave a lasting impression on those that are listening and inspire others to lend a helping hand.

"Hopefully it will inspire people a couple of hours of their time in which every way they can to the community," she said. 

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