The program opened up with a rousing version of "My Country 'Tis of Thee" led by a patriotic participant. Sabrina then led everyone in Michael Jackson's inspirational "Man in the Mirror"....and it was off to the races!
Three of our participants who had brought their own instruments then taught others to play who signed up to try instruments. One shy participant got to play the drums, and shared how it brought back memories of his childhood when he used to play the drums. People were happy and excited to get the chance to try out the instruments, and seemed to really enjoy the experience.
Many folks were thrilled to get a chance to come up to the microphone and sing some fun and energizing songs. Several participants made a collaborative effort, singing their favorite songs together. This visit saw a lot of bonding and joining together over music. The grande finale had just about everyone in the room one their feet, up by the stage, and standing in a semi-circle as we joined together in singing "Lean On Me". It was a very moving moment for everyone involved.
This visit to St. Elizabeth's truly confirms what IoH has known all along - that music has the power to transform people. The shyest of people come out of their shells, people who almost never talk suddenly pick up a microphone and sing, people who have never had the chance to give of themselves teach others, and everyone supports their peers, always without judgment. Most of all, those who almost never smile, have something to smile about. Music makes us smile. Music brings joy into our worlds, when we experience it from the inside out. And THAT is what IoH is about. The musical experience from the inside out!
IoH would like to thank the people who made this day possible. First, thank you to Iden Campbell McCollum and The Campbell Center for generously funding this event and partnering to make this happen. Thank you to Katrina Carter, Director of Consumer Affairs and Kate Stanley, Music Therapist, both at St. E's, for being so helpful in setting this up, leading up to and during the program. Thank you to Allen Sweatt, who volunteered to help us with our technical set up before the program. Finally, thank you to our volunteer, Esther Whitlock, who played and taught keyboards at the program, and shared her incredible talents with all. Your duets with Andy rocked the house, Esther!
Stay tuned to read about our program at the Eastern Shore Hospital Center in Maryland....where we will be in July!!!! Until then.....keep rockin'!!!