Rochester icon celebrates 85th birthday

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — A Rochester icon celebrated a big milestone Monday, her 85th birthday.

Jane Belau is known as a renaissance woman — an artist, jewelry designer, longtime political commentator, and musician.

The Gonda Singers surprised her Monday morning with a birthday party at Mayo Clinic’s Gonda building.

For nearly two decades, Belau has volunteered her time to play the grand piano with the Gonda Singers each week. So what better way to celebrate her big day than with the gift of music. She also hopes ti bring a little bit of joy to those who stop and listen.

“She cares more about everybody else than herself,” said Gonda Singer member Cindy Biorn. “Just a very caring, wonderful person.”

“She’s always on the lookout for people that she can have us sing to or sing for, or do requests,” said Cindy Biorn. “Just any way that we can make the patients day brighter.”

Research has shown that music has a healing quality to it.

“This is why we sing songs people know and love because it can take them back to some happier time in their life and make them feel better,” said Belau.

So it only made sense to surprise Belau with friendship, music, and smiles in the same place where she helps being a little happiness to the lives of others.

“My singers did this and they surprised me,” said Belau. “Some of our singers can’t be here every time and they are all here today. So it was a wonderful surprise, a wonderful surprise.”

And we want to wish Jane a very happy birthday as well with many more to come!

Sarah Gannon

Sarah Gannon

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