Wednesday, February 27, 2013
“HEAR the MUSIC” JAM Session a Birthday Success
I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to Professor Ron Borczon, Director of the Music Therapy Wellness Clinic, California State University Northridge, and Helen Dolas, Founder/CEO of Arts & Services for Disabled, Inc. (http://www.artsandservices.org/) Because of their effort and concern we were able to collaborate and quickly pull together a fabulous “HEAR the MUSIC” JAM Session and birthday celebration for my brother, Nathaniel, who prefers to be called Tony Ocean at this time. Tony is what our mother called him and he loves to play by the Ocean. Such a fitting name.
Tony had the time of his life playing improv with Certified Music Therapists and Music Therapy students, along with members of LAMP Community, who were able to enjoy an afternoon of music, food and fun. The pizza from Waleeto’s in Hawthorne, CA, was great! Thanks Wally. Thank you, Hayk Makhmuryan, Fine Arts Coordinator, LAMP Community, who took the time to bring the members. The JAM Session was held on Saturday, February 2, 2013, at the Cultural Education Center for the Arts in Hawthorne, CA. Here’s the link to a short video of the JAM Session we have to share with you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_QyKkTrpOg
I traveled to LA with my dear friend and colleague Dr. Barbara Lattimore, Counseling Psychologist/CEO, Alternative Research and Development Services. The trip was a challenge for me, because I was ill, yet I made it through. The students from Cal State were excellent volunteers and participants. Also in attendance were Steve Lopez (Tony’s dear friend), his lovely wife Alison and daughter, and Professor Janise White, conductor of the Afro-American Chamber Music Society Orchestra (https://www.facebook.com/AACMS?ref=stream). Tony is a huge fan of Professor White and plays with the Orchestra when he is healthy enough to join them.
Also Joanne Pierce Martin, an amazing pianist for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, came along with her husband, Gavin, who is also a very talented pianist. It was Joanne’s birthday and the LA Phil had a concert that night, so what a sacrifice for her to attend. The huge sacrifices that everyone made to be there were so heart felt. Even our hometown friend Bobby Witbeck, who grew up down the street from us back in Cleveland, Ohio, and his beautiful wife and girls were there. Our sister Lydia from our father’s second marriage was in attendance along with her husband, Vance, and granddaughter, with whom I am just getting acquainted, and it has been a pleasure.
It was awesome to see so many people there to simply enjoy the JAM Session and to see the Music Therapists control the set with their expertise. Most of all it was great to see Tony have such a wonderful time for four hours, in what seemed to provide him with freedom from the torment his mind faces in day-to-day life.
Thank you everyone for your time and contributions. Tony thanks you as well. I know he does!
THANK YOU JANSSEN Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (http://www.janssenpharmaceuticalsinc.com) for your support and sponsorship of the “HEAR the MUSIC” JAM Session. We appreciate your commitment to those diagnosed with mental illness, with your research and continuous efforts to develop new treatments.
Hear the Music/Stop Stigma
Jennifer Ayers-Moore, Founder and Executive Director,
The Nathaniel Anthony Ayers Foundation
Photos courtesy of Yessenia Gonzalez, CSUN Music Therapy Student