Professional Care Providers

Musicians Say… | Family and Friends Say… | Volunteer Concert Liaisons Say…

Professional Care Providers say…

(To protect their privacy, the names of the recipients have not been included)


I have a patient who received a Swan Song concert from Jessica Shepard on 2/24/17. He has talked about that concert every single time I have seen him since. His memory can be a bit fuzzy, but he remembers this concern from 1 month ago (!) crystal clear. Please let Jessica know what an impact she had on him. Thank you to you, Swan Song organization and all the musicians.

HospiceAustin Social Worker


Kate, You’ve done it again! Tonight was one of the most moving experiences of my entire career in hospice. When I arrived I was told our patient was wanting to go to hospital and did not want the concert. So we decided it was too late to cancel and we had another pt there of ours who is a native of NOLA. He was agreeable. The band started up and soon after EMS is arriving on scene. Band plays on. As EMS wheels out patient in stretcher, band improvises and follows it out to the street and plays away as patient is put in and taken away. Everyone was in tears! Back inside, other patient removes his o2 and starts dancing! He takes someone’s hand and they dance away to his request, When the Saints Go Marching In. Two other residents there were also taking it all in and loving it. At the end, our pt said “thank you for bringing me home.” He hadn’t been back to Nola in 29 yrs. It was beyond incredible. I love you all so much! Thanks a million!!!!”

Carly Bassett, Social Worker, HospiceAustin


I just wanted to thank you (and Ray Benson, the photographer, and the rest of the people who may have helped to make this concert possible!!) for the concert that was provided recently. (the recipient) is continuing to decline and will be moving to her hometown with her mother this weekend. Her boyfriend and mother expressed profound appreciation for this experience. I saw the pictures yesterday with the family—what a poignant event. My sincerest gratitude.”

Jessica Sather, Social Worker, Hospice Austinprocare_001_1024


Thank you very much for arranging a very memorable musical experience. A wonderful time was had by all! I know that (the recipient’s) enjoyment of that concert improved his quality of life – even for that day or even moment. As a social worker, that is what I strive for with our patients, so thanks for helping me do that. I am glad that Swan Songs exists in the hospice community.”

Elizabeth Wilson, Social Worker


I am a Registered Nurse with Vistacare Hospice. I had never heard of Swan Songs before and I was looking for a Bagpipe player for a patient of mine who used to play for others himself, in his country of origin. He had long stopped playing, as his illness will no longer allow him to. He would show me the pieces of bagpipes he had left in his possession, and he would light up like a proud parent every time he would bring those out to show me. I couldn’t stop thinking about the look on his face, were a bagpipe player show up at his door to play…just for him, and in his honor! Our volunteer coordinator Katrina Wilson suggested Swan Songs, a local organization designed to organize private concerts for individuals and families living with life threatening illnesses. Between the two of us and the Swan Songs ‘leader of the pack’ Christine Albert, the date was set and the project was in motion.home_002_1024 When the bagpipe player arrived, this gentleman was already sitting in his living room, anticipating his special serenade…the bagpipe player brought three different kinds of bagpipes, and explained them all to him before he began, then took requests from the patient and his family. I thought our patient was going to jump out of his chair when the performer started; there were no words to describe the look on his face, and the sense of enjoyment that this gentleman was having. It was as if, for a brief moment in time, he was that bagpipe player again, playing his heart’s passion, oblivious to the illness and hardship that now ravaged his body. To allow the experience to be savored again at will, Swan Songs also sent a photographer to record the regalia and the moment.All of this was done at no expense to the patient and his family. He had his own private concert in his own home with his family present, and his life was honored and graced with a professional who played just for him! There is no doubt in my mind that, for a solid hour, this patient’s quality of life was almost as magnificent as the days he could play for others, touching their lives the way his was being touched….

This Vistacare Nurse thanks you for all that you do, and the compassionate, personal, and confidential way that you do it….”

Mary Y. Burgess, R.N., Vistacare Hospice