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Yankees Help Musicians Bring HOPE to Sick Patients

by Kelly Kultys
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Kelly Kultys/WFUV Sports

Players Surprise Musicians, Patients at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital

Sometimes, when it seems the darkest, all you need is a little light – or a little music – to fix it. That’s the goal of an organization, titled Musicians on Call. Founded in 1999 by Michael Solomon and Vivek Tiwany, Musicians on Call performs for sick patients in hospitals in an attempt to brighten their day.

Currently, the organization is active in seven U.S cities, including New York, where it got its start. In NYC alone, Musicians on Call partners with more than 18 hospitals to bring music to patients.

And they don't just provide concerts. Many of the volunteers travel to individual patient rooms to give those in bed a little uplifting. These were just a few of the reasons that inspired the Yankees to partner with them this past Thursday as part of their 6th annual HOPE week.

Five current Yankee players - Carlos Beltran, Adam Warren, Chase Whittley, Brett Gardener and Vidal Nuno surprised Musicians on Call and the patients in the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, located at New York Presbyterian. Joining them was a former Yankee legend who now considers himself a part of the music business – Bernie Williams.

“It's something that I'd like to say is required for professional athletes to come out here and do this kind of work,” Williams said. “There's no price for this."
 
The players joined the volunteer musicians on stage to perform for a group of about 50 people – patients and family members alike. They also took pictures with the children and signed autographs before traveling to visit the bed-ridden children.

As for the musicians, they performed a mix of well-known songs, such as “Let it Be” by the Beatles as well as some of their own original music. Khaya Cohen, a former X Factor star, performed two originals – “Sky Might Fall” and “City So Fine.” She drew tremendous applause from the crowd, as did Williams when he expertly jumped in on most songs with his guitar.

At the end of the concert, the Yankees presented Musicians on Call with a $10,000 donation to help them continue their work. President Pete Griffin expressed his gratitude for both the donation and being selected to be a part of HOPE Week. 

"The awareness that this is going to generate for our program is really above and beyond what we could hope for in itself," Griffin said. "To get that financial support from the Yankees is really going to be powerful."

At the end of the day, there were smiles all around as everyone joined in a rendition of Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds.”

“Singing don’t worry about a thing. Cause every little thing, is gonna be alright”

To hear the full story on Musicians on Call/Yankees HOPE Week, listen to the audio below. 

 

Listen

Gallery

Musicians on Call Performs at the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital Current and former Yankees performed with the volunteer musicians Alexis Bandini has been with the organization for two years Bernie Williams was the only Yankee who had musical experience on stage. The children and their families were given HOPE week memorabilia right before the concert. Khaya Cohen is not only a volunteer musician - she also performed on the X Factor. At the end, Musicians on Call received a check from the Yankees organization.