Songwriters Collaborate with Shepherd Center Military Patients to Write a Song about Their War Experience
More than 200 Shepherd Center patients and their families attended the second annual “Songs for Shepherd” concert featuring music performed by Georgia and Tennessee songwriters. The event featured a song the performers co-wrote with Shepherd Center military patients.
The July 2014 event, which was sponsored by Choate Construction, also included dinner catered by Low Country BBQ and served by 30 volunteers from Choate. Shepherd Center music therapist Thomas Miller hosted the concert.
Georgia songwriters John Allison, James Casto and Carole Ford performed their music along with Nashville songwriter JP Williams, who writes for Garth Brooks’ publishing company, Major Bob Music. The songwriters came and spent the day at Shepherd Center, jamming with patients and SHARE Military Initiative clients participating in music therapy with Thomas. SHARE is a comprehensive rehabilitation program for military service personnel who sustained brain injuries and/or PTSD in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The group actually wrote a song with the SHARE clients. (Click on the link above at left to hear the song.) One of the clients came in to the “writing appointment” with poetry of his war experience, and the group crafted a song around it and performed it at the concert that evening.
“It was a beautiful song, and the show was uplifting and inspirational for the patients,” says Shauna Collins, a Nashville-based development manager for the Shepherd Center Foundation.
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Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 935 inpatients, 541 day program patients and more than 7,300 outpatients each year.