A San Diego County News Center contribution
Thursday night’s performance was the first rock ‘n roll concert at Edgemoor Skilled Nursing Facility, the County’s long-term care facility in Santee.
The goal was to get patients to laugh, smile, and clap to the music. They did.
“Events like this help to improve their quality of life and give them something to look forward to,” said Anne Monaco, therapeutic recreation supervisor for Edgemoor. “It gives them something different to do. We want to make them feel good.”
Monaco said Edgemoor staff and volunteers try to plan different activities and events for residents, but getting musical bands to perform for free is not easy. Convincing Rhythm Red, though, was a different story. The band’s drummer, Steve Monaco—you guessed it—, is her husband.
Not only that, the four-member band and East County favorite thought it would be good to perform for a different audience.
“We thought it would be a wonderful thing for the residents,” said lead vocalist Jennifer Craig.
Rhythm Red opened with Sheryl Crow’s “If It Makes You Happy” and followed with Pink’s “Who Knew.” The concert was peppered with classic hits like Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” and “Love Shack” by the B-52s.
Throughout the performance, some patients clapped, while others raised their hands. Some simply murmured the lyrics.
Sitting in the front row, Domingo sat quietly on his wheelchair and just listened to the music.
“I came to get distracted for a while and to leave behind the everyday routine,” Domingo said in Spanish. “They are very good,” he added during the band’s break and cookie time for the patients.
Ilonka’s enthusiasm was much more evident. Seated on the second row, she sang and clapped. She raised her hands and occasionally screamed every time Ilonka heard a song she liked.
“They’re real good,” she said. Ilonka liked the band so much she had her picture taken with the lead vocalist.
So what was her favorite song?
“All of them,” she said.