Monday, May 13, 2013

Country Artists Record Children's Hospital Benefit Album

Heartfelt songs penned by a group of patients of Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt while working with their music therapist are being released May 14 worldwide on a compilation CD featuring some of Nashville's top recording stars.

Artists Kix Brooks, Melinda Doolittle, Fisk Jubilee Singers, Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Faith Hill, Alison Krauss, Maura O'Connell, Johnny Reid, SHEL and Phil Vassar breathe life into songs written by patients Austin Bagby, Ethan Carpenter, Courtney Gaoette, Erica Kilburn, Amy Overton, Gigi Pasley and Christopher Weber, along with music therapist Jenny Plume.

Everybody Has A Story is a selection of songs written by patients over the past six years, each song the result of a clinical music therapy session involving the patient and music therapist Jenny Plume. The patients who participated were treated for a variety of chronic illnesses such as cancer and cystic fibrosis, two were heart transplant recipients, and one was hospitalized for pneumonia.

Plume helped patients shape their thoughts and feelings into lyrics and a melody. Some lyrics were crafted out of a story idea, and some were created by long discussions about the patients' feelings and situations. The song topics range from serious to fun and silly.

Sometimes we wrote about a real life experience, other times I would ask questions and the answers would make the lyrics, sometimes we used their poems, Plume said. So, it was very collaborative, with me trying to draw those ideas and words out of them.

I hope they will go on to know that they can do anything, they can create things, and hopefully music will always be in their lives. For those patients who have passed on, this will be a legacy to celebrate their lives. Proceeds from the sales of this CD will benefit the Julian T. Fouce Music Therapy Fund, founded at Vanderbilt in 2007 by Tom and Maria Fouce in memory of their son, Julian, a great lover of music. Julian died in 2005 after a long battle with leukemia.

Plume's idea of making a CD to celebrate her patients' talents mixed well with Tom Fouce, a Music Row recording engineer who approached his industry contacts to see if there was interest in having the songs brought to life by professional artists. The artists enthusiastically agreed to donate their voices and time. 

Visit for more information, including a video chronicling the making of the CD with artist and patient interviews.

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