Songs From the Heart Concert Set for June 24

June 10, 2011 | Dagny Stuart

Kimberly Harris, left, onstage with Vanderbilt nurse Evelyn Hall during last year's “Songs from the Heart” concert. Hall, who is employed at Vanderbilt Home Care, is a survivor of breast and thyroid cancer. Harris is a close friend who has supported Hall during her cancer journey. (photo by Anne Washburn)

Cancer patients, longtime survivors, family members and those who treat cancer patients are invited to take part in this year’s Songs from the Heart concert, which features songs written by the participants.

The annual event sponsored by Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and Gilda’s Club Nashville starts with a two-night songwriting workshop for those interested in penning their own lyrics. The writing workshop will be held Tuesday, June 21, and Wednesday, June 22, in the VICC clinic conference room.

The songs written during the workshop will be set to music and performed during a free public concert Friday, June 24, at the Vanderbilt University Student Life Center, 310 25th Ave. South.

Tricia Walker, a successful singer and songwriter, guides the novice writers in the fine art of turning ideas and emotions into meaningful lyrics. Then Walker and fellow musician Bill Sinclair pair their own unique melodies with the lyrics and perform the newly-minted songs onstage during the concert, which is open to the public.

“Tricia Walker has a remarkable ability to help participants articulate their thoughts and emotions and transform those ideas into song lyrics,” said longtime concert organizer Cindy Tinker. “When Tricia and Bill take the stage and perform the finished songs, magic happens.”

The songwriters sit onstage while their songs are performed and share the cancer stories that provide the impetus for the tunes, which can induce belly laughs or tears.

The doors open at 5:30 p.m. for a silent auction and the concert beings at 6:30 p.m., followed by a reception in the ballroom of the VU Student Life Center.

Free parking is available in the 25th Avenue Garage and visitors are encouraged to use the Highland Avenue entrance. While the concert is free, donations are accepted and all proceeds from the event and the silent auction benefit the VICC Caring Hearts Fund, which provides financial assistance to VICC patients who have financial hardships during their cancer treatment.

To reserve a seat for the event, visit www.vicc.org/2011/songs/ or call 322-7459. To view video clips from previous concerts and an interview with songwriter Walker, visit www.vicc.org/songs-heart.

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