Praised be Jesus and Mary!
Last Thursday, we performed together for the second time as Lasallian String Society. This time, it is for our Adopt-a-Ward Project. We played Christmas carols for the patients of DLSUMC (De La Salle University Medical Center). ^^ It was a great experience to see the patients listening attentively, smiling, clapping, and laughing with us.
There was one time when we made a mistake at the very end. We chuckled at our own mistakes and they laughed with us. They meant no harm. It was really funny. They were all smiling when we left the ward.
One guardian came looking for us and requested that we go back to the very first ward to play again. She said that some of the people in that ward missed our performance. We gladly granted their request. One of the patients there did not want to hear us play at first. Later, he started imitating our president/conductor by waving his hands. In the end, he even asked that we take a group photo with him. He looked happy when we left.
In another ward, a new born baby cried “Waaaaa~” after hearing two notes. Haha! We stopped playing. He also stopped crying. We tried again. He gave us another “Waaa~” somewhere in the middle of the song “What Child Is This?”, but he did not really cry. The mother was laughing at how her baby reacted to the music. We were all laughing as well.
In the pediatric department, we were not allowed to play in the wards. Instead, we played along the corridors. We played louder than usual so that the people inside the rooms can hear our music. It sounded great. It was our best performance that night. It felt like freedom. Since we stood in a long corridor, we can move our bowing arm freely without bumping the person beside us. We could not do that in the wards due to limited space. Also, our harmony was better than any of our previous performances. We, nine violinists, were truly playing in unison. (That doesn’t happen often ‘coz most of us are beginners with not much time to practice due to academic load.) One by one, patients and guardians opened their doors to watch and listen to the Christmas carols.
Some patients offered us cash. There was even one patient who tried giving us a blue bill, haha! We thanked them but we refused because we did not have the necessary permit from the hospital to receive gifts. The thought was greatly appreciated, though. We knew that they liked the songs and that is why they wanted to give us money. 🙂
We were tired and hungry. Our arms and shoulders felt stiff. But, it was worth it. Sharing the joy of Christmas through music was truly fun and unforgettable. That was undoubtedly the happiest day of my med school life so far.
I am glad that I joined Lasallian String Society (LSS) and met my friends who share with me the same passion and enthusiasm for music. I look forward to the day when we can do more to serve the patients.
Kristine G. Veneracion