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Join us as we celebrate 30 years of bringing hope, healing and joy through live music in 2024!

Thirty years of Heart & Soul!

Heart & Soul is celebrating a round-number anniversary this year.  

In the fall we’ll put on a big anniversary event, and we’ll keep you posted about that.  (Will there be cake?)  Before that, we’re looking forward to the HEART & SOUL MUSIC STROLL on Saturday, June 8, and there’s information below about how you can be involved.  

In the meantime, it’s worth taking a minute to think about THIRTY YEARS of Heart & Soul.  

That’s a lot of concerts . . . a lot of live music brought to people who can’t easily get out to hear music . . . a lot of guitars tuned, microphones tested, toes tapped, voices joined together

Since 1994 we’ve put on 21,421 shows.  A number like that makes your head spin, especially if you’ve been part of some of those shows and you know that every single one is a unique event.  I’ve played in a good many myself.  They’re all different. 

I’ve played in rooms that already seemed to be full of joy—though people came up at the end to tell us how we’d brightened their day.  In other rooms, you have to look hard to see if the music is registering at all.  Last month my jazz trio was in an Alzheimers facility.  When we stopped playing, a woman who for an hour had seemed like a gaunt, lovely statue started moving her lips, noiselessly, and looking around.  An aide came over and bent down to her and said, “She wants to thank you.”  I cherish both those experiences.

Many of you have had your own Heart & Soul experiences, and you may have found that it’s hard to explain what it’s like to someone who hasn’t been there—and even if you’ve played dozens of shows, it’s hard to get a sense of the whole enterprise.  Thirty years!  21,421 concerts!  What does it add up to?

I want to share a letter from Phil Hansen, a caregiver at Pine Creek Rehab and Nursing.  It’s a favorite around the office, good for rereading on gray days.  (We love getting letters from caregivers, audience members and their families, musicians!)  I’ve been a musician and a board member for Heart & Soul for years, but Phil’s letter taught me something I didn’t know.  I’ve trimmed it a little, and thrown in some italics; if you’d like to read the original letter click here.

Tom Stillinger

Board President

Heart & Soul



remembering, performance, gratitude, newsletter, 30th anniversary

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