Some days you wake up and know it’s going to be a good day. That was how I felt last Wednesday when I was given the opportunity to kick off a crazy CMA Fest weekend by joining Musicians On Call, Radio Disney, and Song Suffragettes at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
The organizations teamed up to bring the healing power of music to the bedsides of patients on three floors of the Children’s Hospital, but what they brought was more than music. Lacy Cavalier, Savannah Keyes, Levon, Alana Springsteen, and Kalie Shorr spread joy, cheer, hope, and love to the young patients and their families as they entered their rooms and volunteered their time and talents.
As they traveled their assigned floors, the musicians sang original music, cover songs, and Disney tunes, allowing the children and their loved ones brief moments of escape and solitude from the realities with which they are faced. Michael, Jake, and Ryan of group Levon performed some oldies (“My Girl” and “Stand By Me”), as well as the Toy Story track “You’ve Got a Friend In Me;” the Song Suffragettes, Cavalier, Keyes, and Shorr, sang their uplifting self-penned songs, while also mixing in a Lady Antebellum hit; and Springsteen entertained with Taylor Swift and “Beauty and the Beast.”
Cavalier, Keyes, and Shorr didn’t just command attention when they entered each hospital room with laughter and happiness, they invited friendship by exuding warmth toward everybody they encountered. Perhaps a highlight of their performances was when the three girls joined forces in one little boy’s room (pictured above), and while Cavalier played the guitar and sang with Keyes backing her, Shorr held out her guitar, played the chords on its neck, and allowed the young patient to strum like a true member of the band.
Phil Guerini, Vice President of Music Strategy for Disney Channels Worldwide and General Manager of Radio Disney Networks, was on hand to witness the hospital visit. As he watched the artists sing, one thing stood out to him, and I can echo his sentiment loudly. “The joy you’re bringing to the whole family,” Guerini stated. “They just brighten up.”
“Seeing the reactions. That’s why I do music,” Springsteen shared with NashvilleGab. “To bring light and positivity to people.”
Thank you to Musicians On Call President Pete Griffin for the invitation and hospitality, as well as Guerini of Radio Disney and Todd Cassetty of Song Suffragettes for their involvement and support of such a beautiful day. I feel absolutely blessed and changed for having been a small part of such a huge experience in the lives of the musicians and patients.