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Opinion: Broadway songs for our sanity

Broadway music therapy session

Opinion: Broadway songs for our sanity

Chaos, Compassion, and Broadway

In our contemporary world filled with polarization and chaos, where do we seek refuge? Be it for maintaining the sanity of a U.S. military intelligence officer during World War II or for facing the agony and uncertainties of everyday life, the arts have proven to be an effective haven.

The Reviving Spirit of Music

Among several experiences that testify to the sanity-restoring potential of the arts, the Broadway Cabaret event at the Jewish Cultural Center in Chattanooga reverberated the remarkable power of music. It brought together people from around Chattanooga, introduced by the event’s instigator, Marilyn Goler.

A Musical Ensemble

The evening saw the participation of singers ranging in age from 14 to 93 years, all syncing the crowd with their renditions of musicals. Chattanooga was represented in its vast diversity, from Harv Wileman, with decades of work in local choral groups, to Bill Lefton, an asset to the Chattanooga Theatre Centre. These symbols of our shared heritage reminded us that our best selves can still surface amid the prevailing vitriol and chaos.

The Power of Compassion

In an evening filled with memorable performances, one that stood out was that of Warren Pasternak. Not just for his remarkable rendition of the Broadway classic “Tonight” from “West Side Story,” but also for reminding us of the therapeutic power of art. Pasternak is known not just for his performances in Chattanooga, but also for his compassionate work, singing for Alzheimer’s patients. His work exemplifies the power of compassion and the substantial value of artists in our society.

The Balm of Music

Even as our world continues to change and challenge us, moments like these permit us to press pause. They allow us to appreciate the shared humanity that binds us together, despite our differences or conflicts. They restore our sanity and remind us of our shared humanity. That is the power of music and art, the power to heal, to unite, and to inspire. As we continue to negotiate our lives in these demanding times, let’s remember to be grateful for our artists and sway to their music. Let’s stay sane and humane.

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