In Memory of David Leslie Thomas

Type of post: Chorus news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Sam English
Status: Current
Date Posted: Sun, Jan 29 2023
                                                                       "This is Why We Sing" 

In Memory of   

                                                                        David Leslie Thomas

                                                         February 23, 1959 – January 25, 2023

In June 2022, we (the Nashville Music Medics) expanded our charitable outreach mission by singing in one of the Nashville hospice residences. Our goal at the hospice is the same as when we sing for the children:  to bring joy and comfort through our music for them and their families. Our mission is simple – to provide the wonderful and powerful medicine of a smile and a song.

The first time we met David was during our holiday visit to ALIVE Hospice on December 21, 2022, when we sang Christmas Carols with the residents and their families.

On January 11th, we once again stopped in to see David. [ "Nashville Music Medics Go to Music School" ]This time he was so engaging that he joined in to sing with us and taught us a few things about our craft. We enjoyed his company so much that we took some extra time to teach him a barbershop “tag.” We learned that David was no stranger to performing as he talked about some of his past performances. Needless to say, we were very impressed and encouraged. 

We last visited David on January 25, 2023, when we sang two new songs that we knew he would want to hear. Sadly, by that time his health had declined so significantly that he was unresponsive.

The Medics were crushed to learn of his passing later that evening.  David left a profound mark on all of us as several of the Medics had grown close with him over the last several weeks, and several made the following remarks when they learned the news of his passing:

            James Russell: “My song-writing buddy and I were truly blessed by David one Saturday morning as we were playing and singing songs together in room 173. He touched our lives—along with so many others. We are saddened by his death. He was a gifted and inspiring musician with a great sense of humor who loved to entertain with his music.”

            Bill Munn:“Very sobering that someone this alive and talented can be gone so quickly. I did see him move a couple times as we were singing yesterday, so I know he heard us.” 

            Wayne Jackson: “Our good friend and musical brother David has left us. As a body of musicians, we were truly inspired and touched by the time we spent with him. He meant a great deal to us.Knowing a little about his background, I believe the recent song he wrote was one of hope.”

            Dick Percy: “I was so moved to listen and watch David perform there in his hospice room.  The visits we had with David were so inspirational.  We always had trouble leaving the room - just one more song!  I am so fortunate to have crossed paths with David even for just a brief time.  A talented young man who left this earth too soon.”        

            Marty Monson: “I remember singing for him before the holidays, and he had his guitar in the room.  He sang along and loved our harmony...I think we sang a few extra songs too! “

            Sam English: “Crushed!  I remain so touched by David that the Nashville Music Medics were among the last folks to visit him on January 25.”

Sam had grown particularly close to David, so much so that David reached out to Sam with the new song he wrote, “When We Meet Again,” so we could arrange the song in four-part harmony Barbershop style.  David did a personal video recording for Sam from his hospice room on January 20thSam said “I will forever cherish that Facebook moment with David.  David was so willing to talk with me about the onset of his disease, but before we could talk much about that opportunity, his health deteriorated… and regrettably I missed that moment.”

Clearly, when we sing for the precious children and their families, and our Hospice friends, we firmly believe that the Lord’s hand is upon us, blessing this ministry that we share. That feeling was never more evident than the last time we sang for David.  Our mission is truly a mission of mercy and love.

This is Why We Sing.

Rest easy, Brother David

With kind permission from ALIVE Hospice, we share David’s last offering of hope and joy which was published by Alive Hospice the day before he peacefully passed.

Wayne Jackson, Sam English, for Nashville Music Medics
January 27, 2023