For Jackie Vanderbeck DiSalvo (BFA Musical Theatre, 2003), it all began with her great grandmother 'Grandma Dee Dee,' who got her nickname for singing "dee da dee da dee da dee" when she would bounce her grandchildren on her knee.
'Grandma Dee Dee' was living in an assisted living home in Santa Rosa, Calif. Whenever DiSalvo would visit, 'Grandma Dee Dee' would ask her great granddaughter to sing before she left. DiSalvo would often bring musical theatre friends with her on her visits and they would sing as well.
"This is where the inspiration for Sing for Your Seniors was cultivated," DiSalvo explains.
Founded in 2005, Sing for Your Seniors (or SFYS) is a non-profit organization that uses music to change lives and provides senior citizens with immediate and long-term benefits through musical enrichment in adult day centers, hospitals and living centers.
The seniors build ongoing relationships with talented young Broadway and Broadway-bound performers as they connect through music. Volunteer performers get to "give back" as they share their talents with enthusiastic audiences.