Friday, November 19, 2010

"When Swing Was King" Review

I'm finishing the LifeSharer letter (a year-end review written a month early) but I thought I'd post this excerpt for our friends who share our excitement over our new "When Swing Was King" program.

Now, in a review of the blessings of 2010, I surely can’t leave out the development of “When Swing Was King,” ...Vital Signs Ministries’ unique combination of big band music, an informative and entertaining commentary, a photo display showing life and popular culture of the era…and the chance to make solid new friendships with the residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other retirement centers. We only came up with the idea in late summer but, boy, how it has taken off. Indeed, before Christmas Day dawns, we will have presented “When Swing Was King” 27 times! And in 11 different facilities! And with 7 of them putting us on their monthly schedule! (I know, I'm asking what's wrong with those other four activity directors too!)

The residents have absolutely loved it. Hearing their gratitude and seeing their enjoyment has been incredibly invigorating to Claire and me. They love the music. They are thrilled with the memories. The show creates delightful conversations with each other. They appreciate the trivia and the comedy I share, often having their own stories which they want to share afterward. We have frequently heard the word “professional” used of the programs by activity directors and visitors. That’s splendid. But even more welcome are the smiling faces, the tender hands applauding each number and the warm invitations to “please, come back soon!”

In order to keep the experience fresh for our audiences, we have already created 5 different volumes of “When Swing Was King.” That's 13 big band songs and a couple of hundred photos each. We’re already working hard on our Christmas volume and will then work on producing another 6 for the regular series. Little wonder then that our Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons will feature the strains of Glenn Miller, Guy Lombardo and Duke Ellington in the background! What a joy this ministry has been for us.