Gainesville a cappella group Audacity visited Haven’s E.T. York Hospice Care Center on Sunday to perform for patients, their families and staff.
The singing group, which originally formed 20 years ago, is an a capella ensemble whose current members include a professional entertainer, a medical virologist, a science librarian, a small business owner, a botanist, an advertising consultant, a pediatric oncologist and a pharmacist. Each of the members have a love for singing in a variety of styles.
Audacity performed a 45-minute program in the family room of the E.T. York Care Center. Understanding that their music would drift into patient rooms, member Valli Van Meter said, “Our hope is that our songs will bring peace, joy and contentment to whomever hears them.”
The group sings folk, spiritual, doo wop, jazz and everything in between for a variety of audiences, including those visiting UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, St. Francis House, the Salvation Army and more. “Many of us have grown together and been through things together. We’re a diverse group and have all been involved in different things in life,” said Valli. “We all love music so much and it means a lot to us. We get to sing, and because it moves us, we think it can move other people.”
After performing at Haven, one member of the group said, “I really appreciate that we sing to do good, rather than just flashy performances. It makes it meaningful. Watching one patient tear up at Shenandoah was worth more to me than performing in front of a large, possibly disinterested, crowd.”