SAVANNAH, GA – April 16, 2020 – Savannah VOICE Festival (SVF) and Hospice Savannah are collaborating in a brand-new initiative, “Voices That Heal,” as part of SVF’s new “Virtually Live” program. Music therapy is an established part of Hospice Savannah’s services and this new collaboration with SVF focuses on the therapeutic value of songs and the human voice.
“Voices That Heal” has been developed by Chad Sonka, Education and Outreach Coordinator for Savannah VOICE Festival and Sara Breyfogle, MS, LPMT, MT-BC, Board Certified Music Therapist at Hospice Savannah. “Voices that Heal” will be launched at 5.30 – 6.00 p.m. on Saturday May 9, via SVF’s Facebook page, as part of SVF’s inaugural “Virtually Live” week which runs from May 4-9. Every evening of this week, SVF will offer live mini-concerts, lectures and informative events through live-streaming, as well as interviews with legendary baritone and co-founder of SVF, Sherrill Milnes. Milnes is celebrating his 85th birthday year in 2020 as well as the 20th anniversary of the founding of his training program and SVF’s sister organization,
After its initial broadcast, “Voices That Heal” will be made available to view on an ongoing basis through Hospice Savannah and Savannah VOICE Festival’s media channels. The participative online experience will begin with Sara Breyfogle’s relaxation exercises to prepare everyone to receive the music positively. Chad Sonka will then lead a discussion about what makes songs comforting, including rhythm, lyrics, sonorities and, of course, the voice. This will be followed by a concert of uplifting songs and culminate in a recording of world-renowned baritone and SVF’s co-founder Sherrill Milnes’ inspirational “Largo al factotum” from Il Barbiere di Siviglia!
This new initiative is not only to support those who are using Hospice Savannah services but the general public at large, designed to help people relax in these times of uncertainty and social distancing. “Our teams have been working together diligently to bring this concept to fruition and I could not be more delighted with our partnership with Hospice Savannah,” said SVF Co-Founder and Executive Director, Maria Zouves. “We’re pleased to be able to offer this program to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to bring world class voices to as many people as possible. One can find solace wherever music is performed and this will be a special moment when folks can put aside their fears and uncertainty for an hour and listen… really listen, to the healing properties of the human voice found in beautiful music.”
Jamey Espina, V.P. of Development and Community Services at Hospice Savannah commented, “Now, more than ever, we all need opportunities to breathe, relax and be renewed through the restorative power of music. Thanks to generous community support, Hospice Savannah’s Board-Certified Music Therapist is able to offer this renewal to our patients and their families on a daily basis. We are so pleased that our collaboration with SVF affords her the opportunity to expand that outreach and healing.”
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Savannah VOICE Festival is a 501(c) 3 tax exempt nonprofit arts organization in the state of Georgia. The Festival brings classical vocal excellence to the Savannah area through a two-week celebration of concerts, events and educational presentations during the month of August and throughout the year. Focusing on arts awareness and audience development in the performing arts, it offers music from opera, musical theatre and popular song. Donations are tax-deductible.
VOICExperience Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to pass on the traditions of great singing and develop new audiences for opera. Under the umbrella of The Sherrill Milnes VOICE Programs, VOICExperience continues its dedication to the quality, integrity and perpetuation of the vocal arts through life-changing intensives, performances, and community-enriching outreach events in New York, Georgia (with its sister organization, the Savannah VOICE Festival), Florida and Illinois. For more information, please visit www.VOICExperienceFoundation.org.
The Savannah VOICE Festival is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly. GCA is a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Hospice Savannah is a designated agency of the United Way of the Coastal Empire and only hospice to have earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™, Hospice Savannah, Inc. also provides progressive illness management through the Steward Center for Palliative Care, support for unpaid family caregivers through the Edel Caregiver Institute, and help for our community’s bereaved through Full Circle Grief & Loss. https://www.hospicesavannah.org/