Meet Matija Tomas, Our Featured Volunteers from Las Vegas!

27 Oct

Meet Matija Tomas, Our Featured Volunteers from Las Vegas!

Get to know our volunteers!

Do you volunteer at a specific hospital? Sunrise Hospital

How long have you been volunteering with Musicians On Call? June 2019

Are you a volunteer guide or musician? Musician

What is your favorite song to play for patients? Addio del passato, a beautiful Italian opera piece

Have you ever been part of an impromptu jam session with patients or families in a hospital room? No, not yet! But I have certainly witnessed this when watching fellow musician Dave Butler play for patients.

Do you perform anywhere else besides with MOC? I have yet to perform elsewhere in Las Vegas (I would like to in the near future!), but have performed at Carnegie Hall and participated in vocal competitions throughout the country within the past few years.

What is your occupation outside of MOC? I am a junior business student attending UNLV.

Do you have any hidden talents? I can sing in 6 languages. I can also wiggle my ears and raise both my eyebrows at the same time!

What is your story? What connects you with music and why do you volunteer with MOC? “I have been involved in the arts for as long as I can remember. I remember attending church as a young girl, feeling incredibly moved by the chorus. From there, music became one of my greatest joys and passions in life. Music is the one universal language that we all speak. Where words and actions may fail, music speaks. I have personally witnessed the healing power of music both inside and outside of the hospital setting. Music has changed the way I view the world. I feel extremely blessed to be able to deliver my love for music with the world, in the hopes that it will be a brighter and kinder place than before.  MOC is an incredible organization. From the moment I began, I was welcomed with open arms. Through this organization, I have met some of the most compassionate and phenomenal people you will ever encounter. Every single member involved with MOC brings a unique vision to the table. We have our own personal stories to share, and journeys as to how we found MOC. We all get each other and bring out the best in one another. Our energies bounce off one another.”

What makes MOC different from your other volunteer experiences? MOC feels like home. From the moment I step into a room, I can tell which patient(s) could really use some musical therapy. And from the moment I step outside of a room, I know that my message was delivered. I converse with and sing for individuals from all walks of life and from different places. I love being able to interact with them. So often these patients are longing for connection and conversation, and music can bring out those wishes. So many patients have expressed their deepest and most intimate emotions with me. It’s beautiful.

Has your life changed because of your experience with MOC? Absolutely. I feel a deeper connection to my community. When I leave the hospital, I know, truly know, that I made a difference in another person’s life. And I get excited to come back and do it all over again!

What is your favorite #MOCmoment? I’ll never forget performing for a fellow musician. This particular patient that I played for had served as a choir teacher for close to thirty years, but had since retired. I witnessed the immediate sparkle in his eyes when we began talking about our musical backgrounds and influences.

Do you want to help us deliver the healing power of music? Apply to volunteer as a guide or a musician today!