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On a bright, brisk Wednesday in December, Brett Manning, along with coaches, a few students, and several staff members lent their voices to a number of holiday favorites as they shared Christmas carols with visitors, members, friends, and staff of Gilda’s Club Nashville.

Many of the twenty or so Gilda’s Club members sang along with the Brett Manning carolers. The smiles and laughter from the audience encouraged and lifted the spirits of the visitors from Brett Manning’s nearby vocal studios. Brett and his carolers were also welcomed by local news media that shared a few highlights of their performance with Nashville viewers later in the day.

Reaching Out, Giving Back

“It’s a way to reach out and give back to the community,” said Heather Hawkins of Brett Manning Studios who helped organize the caroling event. She is even thinking about other visits to Gilda’s Club to provide live music much in the style of a cozy, singer-songwriter café or cabaret.

Vocal coaches Dave Brooks, Chris Keller, and Jesse Nemitz all participated in the morning’s singing that included a few fun slips of the tongue and ribbing from the audience.

Gilda’s Club

Gilda’s Club is named in honor of Gilda Radner, the Saturday Night Live comedian who died of ovarian cancer in 1989. It was her dream that all people impacted by cancer, as well as their families and friends, would have access to the same level of emotional and social support that she received during her illness.

The Nashville Gilda’s Club serves more than 3,000 members and is an affiliate of Gilda’s Club Worldwide. The warm setting of its Nashville facilities provides a gathering place where people with cancer and their families and friends can get together with others to actively involve themselves in emotional support and social activity as a supplement to medical care.

The organization offers its members free lectures, workshops, classes, support groups and social activities in its non-residential, cozy environment.

Club Continues To Grow

There are currently 30 locations including clubs in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Iowa, California, Pennsylvania, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Washington, Texas, Wisconsin, and in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. There are several more clubs under development in Canada, as well as Washington DC, Indiana, Missouri, and Minnesota.

As you lift up your voice while reaching out to your community your awareness of the needs of others is heightened and taken to heart just as your heart for singing helps to comfort and encourage others.

Take time at least every few weeks to use your gifts to encourage others who are struggling, searching, recovering, or simply striving for a better quality life with a sense of community, purpose, pleasure, and joy.

It’s the season for giving thanks, giving back, giving hope. As you seek that higher road that leads to your singing success, take time to stop, lighten up, loosen up, and share your gifts.

Visit for more information on this amazing network of connection to care and commitment to comfort.

Randy Moomaw

Author Randy Moomaw

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