Troops Bring Music To Bronx Hospital

Posted on July 19, 2010, 6:16 pm
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New York’s all-volunteer state defense force commander, Maj. Gen. Ferg Foley will oversee the donation of dozens of restored musical instruments for the patients of the James J. Peters Veterans Administration Medical Center.

Foley will join New York Guard volunteer Maj. Bob Coulombe and senior staff of the Medical Center for the presentation in the VA Medical Center Chapel.

Who: New York Guard Commander Maj. Gen. Ferg Foley and Maj. Bob Coulombe, from the Hudson Valley’s 56th Brigade.

What: Present donated and repaired musical instruments to the James J. Peters VA Medical Center

Where: James J. Peters VA Medical Center Chapel, 130 West Kingsbridge Road, Bronx, New York 10468

When: Tuesday, July 20th at 11 a.m.

Background: New York Guard volunteer Maj. Bob Coulombe, from Chappaqua, N.Y. volunteered his time to collect used and donated musical instruments when he learned that there were patients at the VA Medical Center who would take lessons.

“I heard there were volunteers willing to teach the veterans, but they didn’t have any instruments,” Coulombe said.

“One of our soldiers conscripted her boyfriend Mark Hitt, a professional musician, to come up to Camp Smith and tune and repair the string instruments,” Coulombe said. “We did so well he is coming to my home July 8 to finish the job.”

The New York Guard total is 32 instruments and counting, Coulombe said, including a player piano, three keyboard pianos, electric keyboard, guitars, a violin, cello, sax, flute, clarinet, trombone, accordion, trumpet and an auto harp.

Hitt has also agreed to volunteer to perform for the patients at the VA Medical Center and that musical instruments not needed in the Bronz will be shared amongst the other regional VA Medical Centers.

For more information contact: Jim Connell at 718-584-9000 x. 6620, or Alfred Hong at 718-584-9000 x. 6515.

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