One of the happiest times in life, for me, is accompanying a fabulously talented singer. I accompanied choirs, choruses, singers, instrumentalists, musical theater and more since I was
twelve, and really got my first “fabulously talented singer” during my freshman year in college. What a joy I had not previously experienced.
Nani does the same for me. I love working with her as she has such a beautiful voice, and perhaps more importantly for those we serve, a kindness, caring, and more than cheerful command of the room. Our work is so important, and I see and feel it every time we perform. My father had dementia, so this work personally means so much to me.
As we begin our performances, I’ve seen a room transformed from perhaps a little fussing among the audience members before we start, into a calm, appreciative and happy crowd (I’m calm and
happy, too!). When I started accompanying at memory care facilities, I immediately felt how the patients were transformed. Any one song will trigger a memory of lyrics, or of the place where they first heard it sung by their favorite singer. I’ve played, watched and listened these past several years as Nani and I perform together and it never ceases to amaze me the cheer it brings to me and the audience!
Nani touches the heart and mind of every person and invites them to sing along, dance if they’d like, and asks if they have any requests (and if we don’t have the music with us, Nani is sure to
have it for our next visit). (Another parenthetical note: Many times song requests are given, and although we don’t have the music for it yet, Nani, unaccompanied, will sing everything she
knows of that song.)
I’m aware that this blog post is a celebration of Nani, but it so true that she is an amazing singer and really cares for those we serve. I just sit back and play, and magic somehow happens.