Commentary by Jeff McDermott
On April 28, for the sixth consecutive year, the students of Carmel High School’s Dance Marathon program came to the Palladium to present their Music for Miracles event, a heartwarming and entertaining student talent show to benefit Riley Children’s Foundation.
I was honored again this year when the students invited me to offer welcoming remarks to the attendees, and it struck me how this annual event epitomizes the power of the arts to bring people together and heal bodies and souls. Music for Miracles perfectly blends the missions of the Center for the Performing Arts and CHS Dance Marathon. At the Center, we strive to engage and inspire the central Indiana community through enriching arts experiences. The Dance Marathon students – more than 100, in this case – say they do it all “For the Kids.” This magical evening embodied both missions.
We are fortunate in Carmel to have a school system and a community that value and invest in the arts and arts education. At Music for Miracles, the student performers took the Palladium stage, one act after another, and wowed the audience of 800. Behind the scenes, other students worked side by side with the Center’s production team to coordinate lights, sound and staging. Adults, teens, artists and stage crew all collaborated to create an enriching arts experience that engaged and inspired everyone present.
As is tradition at Music for Miracles, the parent of a “Riley Kid” offered a testimonial. James Dolan bravely recounted how his son, Jameson, was born with a life-threatening condition, but after months in Riley Hospital for Children’s neonatal unit and multiple surgeries by skilled physicians, he beat the odds and is now a happy and healthy 18-month-old. In fact, young Jameson attended the performance with his family and, as if on cue, let out a little yelp of happiness as his father talked about that journey to health.
It was a miraculous moment, music to the crowd’s ears. You might say it was Music for Miracles.