Caldwell, N.J., March 19, 2018 – They raised the roof in room 202 in the Student Center the evening of March 5. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members lifted their voices to give a little girl with cerebral palsy and seizure disorders some joy.
Arranged by the university’s Music Club, the group recorded a song for little Aubrey Brooks through the Songs of Love Foundation, a national nonprofit organization that creates free, personalized original songs to uplift children and teens who are facing tough medical, physical or emotional challenges.
Miriam Edelstein, a recent music education alum and former Music Club president, was excited to bring the program to Caldwell after having worked on fundraising for the project for the last two years.
The CEO and founder of Songs of Love, John Beltzar, said he started the organization in 1996 when the idea popped into his head as he was walking down the street. He asked himself how he could use his talents “not for commercial success but rather to make the world a better place.” He encouraged members of the group to think about how they could also use their talents to help make a better a world. If you do that, he said, “then it is impossible to feel like a failure.” Since 1996, Songs of Love has provided music for 23,000 children.
Finally arriving at the day for the taping was “surreal” for Edelstein. It was rewarding for her to look around the room and see everyone smiling and sharing in the passion she has for the project. Edelstein wants to pursue studies in music therapy. “It can make a difference in someone’s life.”
Beltzar had just written the song that morning, incorporating the information he had about Aubrey including her parents, her sisters, and her cute kitties, Franklyn and Gregory.
Beltzar recognized the talent in the room and challenged Caldwell’s singers to record more innovative lyrics, which they did.
Eric Dieterle, a communications major with a minor in music, said it was a beautiful experience. “The song is great. I think she’s going to love it.”
The organization is dedicated to Beltzar’s twin brother Julio who died in 1984 and who had wrote and recorded the composition “Songs of Love” two months before.
To learn more about Songs of Love, go to: https://www.songsoflove.org/.