Meet Rob DeFriese, Our Featured Volunteer from Phoenix!
Get to know our volunteers!
Do you volunteer at a specific hospital? So far only the Phoenix VA Hospital
How long have you been volunteering with Musicians On Call? Since Summer of 2019
Are you a volunteer guide or musician? Musician
What is your favorite song to play for patients? “You’ve Got A Friend” by Carole King
Have you ever been part of an impromptu jam session with patients or family in a hospital room? Not yet
Do you perform anywhere else besides with MOC? All around the Valley! My steady gigs at the moment are at Winery 101 in Peoria, Xtreme Bean in Tempe, Village Coffee Roastery in Scottsdale, and Duck & Decanter in Phoenix.
What is your occupation outside of MOC? Professional Musician: Performer and teacher
Do you have any hidden talents? I can do a little acting, I’ve got some organizational skills (i.e. OCD, lol), and I like stargazing and know a bit about astronomy although I wouldn’t quite call that a talent. 🙂
What is your story? What connects you with music and why do you volunteer with MOC? I’ve been strongly connected with music since I was a young boy. It was perfectly natural for me to become a musician. I volunteer to help give back to my community. I look forward to volunteering at the Childrens’ Hospital, but so far I’ve only been able to volunteer at the VA Hospital, which is just fine: My dad, both of my grandfathers and a grandmother were veterans, so it easy to imagine it’s something I’d want my family to have in their lives if they had to be there.
What makes MOC different from your other volunteer experiences? I feel I’m giving more of myself in this volunteer experience, as it’s what I do for a living outside of MOC.
Has your life changed because of your experience with MOC? I can definitely say my life has changed because of my experience with MOC!
What is your favorite #MOCmoment? I was singing a song for a veteran — it was a song he asked for among my repertoire. He just closed his eyes with a smile on his face, and started humming along. At the end of the song his wife, who was visiting him, had tears in her eyes. She said that was the happiest she’d seen him since he’d been there at the VA. I felt humbled but also really happy to have done something to lift someone’s spirits!