The sounds of Christmas music never had this much rhythm.
The Blenman Steel Sounds orchestra played steel pan renditions of holiday music at New York City Health and Hospitals Kings County on Dec. 21. Crowds of guests, staff, and visitors surrounded the lively steel band made up of mostly women who are senior citizens, to dance along and sing. Some onlookers were so pleased with the music, they said it brought in an atmosphere that made their job easier.
“This is the best thing they could’ve done,” said Rosalind Hardy, an employee at the hospital.
“I think that’s the best idea they could’ve done because sometimes we have a down day and the energy is extremely down that day — but this type of music lifts us up and that way when we deal with visitors we are more cheerful, they enjoy it that way when they come to us we don’t have to worry about have attitudes.
The musical director of the seasoned band says happy vibes was just the right kind of energy they wanted to bring leading up to Christmas, and spoke of the health benefits of their music.
“These days there’s so much going on and music is therapy,” said Alston Jack, a 20-year-old member of the band. “Music brings love and it brings a lot of togetherness — it’s important to share that love this time of the year — for all seasons, but mostly this time of the year.”
The band played songs such as “Oh Christmas Tree,” the Latin classic “Perifidia,” and “Silent Night.”
Seeing the happy crowds surround them was a sight to see, said one of the oldest members of the band who performed the medley for the first time with her bandmates.
“It was very nice and I’m glad everyone seemed to be enjoying the music and in the Christmas spirit,” said Elva Lewis. “There was a large crowd there, and they really enjoyed it and we’re happy to play for them.”