Birch Bay Village

An Island’s Love of Music & a Retirement Community’s Commitment to Preserving Memories.

Music is a significant part of the culture on Mount Desert Island and has been since the beginning of the “Building of the Arts” era in the early twentieth century. Today, the Island’s well known retirement community, Birch Bay Village, has devoted its resources to providing unique musical events and therapeutic musical opportunities throughout its campus.

Birch Bay Village is an extraordinary not-for-profit retirement community, governed by Mount Desert Island Hospital. Its picturesque 55 acre campus sits high on a rugged hillside offering lovely scenic views of Frenchman Bay. Just outside the quaint town of Bar Harbor, Birch Bay Village borders Acadia National Park making access to the park effortless for residents to enjoy. This stunning national treasure is home to the historic carriage roads built by John D. Rockefeller Jr. and the highest mountain on the US Atlantic coast. Its scenery of wild gardens, stunning rocky beaches, aromatic pine forests, abundant mountain views and indigenous wildlife bring thousands of people to the island community each year. This results in a plethora of incredible musical experiences for Birch Bay’s residents who are regularly treated to brilliant recitals and unique music events throughout the summer and fall in the island’s classiest venues. The music plays on, throughout the winter and spring on the beautiful campus at Birch Bay and also nearby at the renowned University of Maine in Orono. The Birch Bay van escorts residents and priority members to many notable musical events such as the Bangor Symphony Orchestra concert series and to plays offered at The Grand Auditorium in Ellsworth. 

Birch Bay is committed to providing high quality experiences for all of their residents wherever they may reside. The campus includes 17 well-appointed cottages with the last 3 cottages ready to be built this season or next; 23 immaculate apartments which are located in the Main Inn with a variety of easy access floor plans along with 16 private Residential Care Suites and 16 private Memory Care suites designed to make everyone feel at home. Birch Bay also offers its residents the opportunity to access a wide range of additional supportive services allowing for a lifetime of care and comfort in any area of its campus. 

The Inn’s main dining room offers breathtaking views of the beautiful blue ocean, deep green mountains and a bird’s eye view overlooking the harbor; keeping an eye out for one of several cruise ships entering and leaving Bar Harbor throughout the summer and colorful fall. It makes for a perfect dining room atmosphere as well as a gorgeous venue for its year round concert series. Well known pianists including Masanobu Ikemiya; Bar Harbor Music Festival musicians “The Ardelia Trio” along with a variety of other talented musicians provide exclusive performances for the residents, and enjoy the views along with the delighted and appreciative audiences. 

Birch Bay’s Memory Care Safe Harbor is a place where residents are encouraged to express their thoughts, feelings, words and memories through musical interactions daily. Birch Bay values the expertise of its trained Music Therapists to bring out the very best in people by encouraging them to express their feelings through music. Melissa Violette, Board Certified Music Therapist and Director of the Music Therapy Department at Birch Bay Village believes in the healing power of music. “Music is found in the same places in our brains as our language and memories. It universally connects our hearts and minds and bonds us to each other. The right song can transport us to another place and time, our loved ones, and ourselves. It is in fact, the sound track of our lives. When time steals words from us, it steals our lyrics last, but we can still use music to speak even when our words fail us.” Health Services Director, Peter Sullivan states, “we see the benefits of Music Therapy every day as music has a soothing effect on each person. Music serves as a mediator for social interactions for our residents, providing a vessel through which to effectively interact with other residents, family members and staff.” Music Therapy is considered a cutting edge and effectual type of therapy with loved ones with memory loss and is just one of the many magnificent things about Birch Bay Village Retirement Community, where life is being celebrated one song at a time.

Peter Houghton, a Cottage Resident and husband of a Safe Harbor Resident can speak to the reasons why he chose the Birch Bay Village campus. “The small size of Safe Harbor, and the dedicated, loving & caring commitment by staff were key features, as my wife’s well-being and protection through the multi-faceted phases of ALZ were critical to the decision process.” For Peter, Cottage living suits him as well: “Being able to take a residence close to Safe Harbor, I have been able to enjoy time with my wife without the moment to moment responsibility for her care.” Peter also enjoys the “”million dollar” view, maintenance care of cottage and grounds as part of monthly rate, rich and diverse nature of fellow cottage owners, as well as the ability to participate in all BBV activities.”

Birch Bay Retirement Village welcomes you to learn more about us and our commitment to bringing a four season mix of activities, music and events to our residents to enjoy our campus, in Bar Harbor, throughout MDI and Acadia National Park. Take a tour of our campus, learn about music therapy or join us for a concert during our summer music series.

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