HomeCardio Jam : PROBE Top Ten

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This is a story from Jim Bagby, of the Heart of America Chorus, about a mini-chorus in the cardiac rehab program at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City.  It’s not made up of Barbershoppers.  The corps of the group are not really singers, although they discovered they really like to sing.  As Jim tells it:
“We started the Cardiac Carolers, as we dubbed ourselves then, about 15 years ago, …and persuaded – with some difficulty – six other members of our afternoon workout class to entertain at the annual holiday open house. ..We were a smash hit with the other patients and spouses, who generally range in age from 70ish upward.”  The group was later renamed Cardio Jam.

Since then the group has more than doubled in size, gotten a little better and  added the summer picnic to their performances.  The staff members are the group’s best allies, reminding newcomers how good singing is for their health,” Jim writes.

Steve, a lawyer at the hospital center and not even a heart patient, warily accepted an invitation to come sing with the chorus.  “The first couple of tries with Steve were not bad – we almost created some expanded sound.  ‘Try it again,’ I encouraged, ‘…maybe this time we’ll get the overtone that was almost there.’ Steve perked up: ‘What’s an overtone?’ he demanded.  I game him the nickel explanation.  ‘Sounds like smoke and mirrors,’ was his legal mind’s reply…The very next time everyone sang “Day Is Done.”   The tonic B-flat, one perfect octave higher, vibrated through the room for a glorious second – and Steve looked as if he’d been hit by lightning.   ‘What was that?!?’   Before I could answer, a happy babble replied, ‘an overtone!’ ”

At the next rehearsal Steve showed up with a Rural Route 4 CD.  ” ‘I figured you knew what you were talking about, so I Googled you,’ Steve grinned. ‘I ordered it on Amazon.com.’  By the time the picnic arrived, Steve was the most active lead we had, grinning like a kid at Christmas and thoroughly involved in the music.  We’ve since gotten him to a couple of Heart of America Chorus meetings.  And if his legal schedule ever gets eases off, he’s going to be my next Man of Note.”

Submitted by Jim Bagby    Edited by Martin Banks

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