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Hospital’s choir gives inspiring virtual performance

During this unprecedented time of separation, anxiety and grief, employees at one Texas hospital wanted to do something to lift people’s spirits. The employee choir at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center put together a performance with an uplifting message: You can count on me.

The employee choir, which has 160 members, didn’t gather for the performance since they’re practicing social distancing as much as possible. Still, the choir director got 28 members together virtually to create a rendition of Bruno Mars’ “Count on Me.”

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Together with a senior producer from the hospital’s video team, the choir director worked with the singers, a pianist and a percussionist to create the performance, a rep from MD Anderson told CBS News.

Choir members were first sent music for the pop ballad as well as an instrumental track. They recorded their individual parts using video software at home and an editor mixed it all together.

The end result looks like a typical Zoom video conference meeting, with each of the 28 choir members in their own individual boxes. But once they start singing, they come together in beautiful harmony, singing the lyrics, “You can count on me like one two three, I’ll be there / And I know when I need it I can count on you like four three two, you’ll be there.”

“Music has been said to have a healing effect mentally, emotionally and psychologically,” a rep for the hospital told CBS News. “The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s employee choir has been in existence for more than 50 years.The purpose of the choir is to bring the joy of music to patients, their families and employees.

The choir is made up of physicians, nurses, technicians, social workers, analysts, administrative assistants, information technologists and others, and they usually rehearse during their lunch hour. “Most of the performances occur during the holiday season, however, they also perform at other special events around the hospital throughout the year,” the hospital rep said. “The song ‘Count on Me’ was chosen because the lyrics provide a feeling of encouragement, hope and friendship for patients, families and employees.”