Get to know our volunteers!
Do you volunteer at a specific hospital? I volunteer at the VA in Murfreesboro, TN
How long have you been volunteering with Musicians On Call? 1.5 years
Are you a Volunteer Guide or Volunteer Musician? Musician
What is your favorite song to play for patients? Keep on the Sunny Side- a lot of the patients/family/staff know it and sing a long. It has an upbeat, catchy chorus that you don’t mind being stuck in your head.
Have you ever been part of an impromptu jam session with patients or family in a hospital room? Yes, the patients sing along often and tap on their tables sometimes. I’m hoping to have a planned jam session this week with a patient that plays bass.
Do you perform anywhere else besides with MOC? Yes, parties and gigs around town. I also volunteer at senior living apts and the Upward basketball program.
What is your occupation outside of MOC? Technical Analyst
Do you have any hidden talents? One of my favorite hobbies is playing golf. I can drive the ball close to 250 yards and have won several Longest Drive awards in golf tournaments.
What is your story? What connects you with music and why do you volunteer with MOC? I’m a 3.5 year breast cancer survivor and have experienced the power of music first-hand. After surgery when I was recovering, I had many difficult days and I prayed for healing and strength often. Soon I heard a song on gospel radio I had never heard before called “I Know How it Feels to Survive” and it was truly a gift. The message of the song still keeps me on track to this day. I volunteer with MOC because I believe music is a blessing that can strengthen, comfort, and help us heal. During that time in my life, I received so much love and support and gifts from many people, and they all had such wonderful things to say. But what made the most difference and helped me more than anything was that song.
What makes MOC different from your other volunteer experiences? Awhile back, per the family’s request, I sang a Capella for Granpappa in his hospital room during his last hours. He must have felt so weak, but he was able to hug me after and it’s a memory I will cherish forever. Not long after that, I saw an ad in the Daily News Journal for MOC volunteers for the Murfreesboro VA hospital. I had a guitar and for many years had attempted to learn to play. I took a picture of the ad with my phone and I learned how to play my guitar just months later. Then I contacted MOC, and began volunteering for them. Grandpappa was a veteran, so getting to volunteer at the VA hospital for MOC is such an honor. My dad and many other family members are veterans also so that makes it even more special to me.
Has your life changed because of your experience with MOC? Yes, this experience has helped me accept challenges and improve my guitar skills. Some patients requested songs that I didn’t know. When I come back and play their song it’s rewarding to see how happy they are.
What is your favorite #MOCmoment? I played “Could I Have this Dance” for one of the patients and it brought him tears of joy. Every month I play that song for him and to see him smile and reminisce is so amazing.