Get to know our volunteers!
Do you volunteer at a specific hospital? I volunteer at City of Hope
How long have you been volunteering with Musicians On Call? 3 Years
Are you a Volunteer Guide or Volunteer Musician? Guide
What is your occupation outside of MOC? I am currently a full time student at Cal State LA (but I will be graduating next month with my bachelors degree in Communications in Advertising/Public Relations).
Do You Have Any Hidden Talents? I have been told I have many, but you have to get to know me pretty well to find out what they are.
What is your story? What connects you with music and why do you volunteer with MOC? My connection to music is simply indescribable because there are no words that can really fully explain the experience I go through when I have the time to really listen to it. To feel the emotions behind it, the texture of lines and shapes I see and feel. Music, I believe, just has a power that can speak to the soul on a different level than anything else.
What makes MOC different from your other volunteer experiences? It gives me the opportunity to interact with people on a different level. I get to see the reactions of the people the program serves in person rather than just hearing about it. I get to see it with my own eyes and hear what they have to say about the experience they have had with program the moment it’s happened. It really is a beautiful thing to witness.
Has your life changed because of your experience with MOC? Yes. I’m one who loves to help others, and that was what I really wanted to get done by volunteering for MOC. I’ve done that, and continue doing that in every program I take part in. However, it turns out that by doing so, it has helped me along the way as well, which was something I did not expect to happen.
What is your favorite #MOCmoment? There’s one that particularly stands out in my mind right now. It actually happened on my first program of 2018. The musicians of the day were Johnalyne Crisostomo and Miguel Camarena. The program was due to make its round at the East Hospital in City of Hope. In one of the last rooms the musicians played for in the first wing of the hospital, there was a Spanish speaking patient that asked if they had any music in Spanish. Johnalyne and Miguel looked at each other for a second and told the patient they had one called “Sabor A Mi,” and that they would happily perform it for him if he wanted to hear it. He smiled and replied, “si por favor (yes please).” As Miguel began to play the first few chords of the song on his guitar, the patient closed his eyes for a second and as soon as Johnalyne began to sing the first words of the song, his eyes opened up and he began to sing along. He sang through the whole performance, with a smile on his face. At the end of the performance, the patient stated the following:
[Spanish] “Esto ha sido la cosa mas bella que me ha pasado aquí en City of Hope. Cada día me dan el regalo de vida aquí, y ustedes hoy traen el regalo de felicidad con la música. Cantando es algo bonito porque trae alegría al alma. Me recordare de esto en mi mente y mi corazón. Muchas gracias.”
[English] “This has been the most beautiful thing that has happened to me here at City of Hope. Everyday they give me the gift of life here, and you bring today the gift of happiness through music. Singing is a beautiful thing because it brings joy to the soul. I will remember this both in my mind and my heart. Thank you so much.”