When the devastating mass shooting happened at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on October 1, the non-profit, Musicians on Call, rushed to the Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, where the wounded were taken. The organization, which provides music to patients in hospitals, as a way to help in the healing process, didn't have any official presence in Vegas at the time, but knew they wanted to help both patients and caregivers in the aftermath.
Michael Ray was one of the first artists to sign up, returning to the scene of the devastation one week after the tragedy to help both those injured and those who were taking care of the 851 wounded, recover from the traumatic event. Six months later, on April 13, Ray returned to Sunrise Hospital, this time to help officially launch Musicians on Call's ongoing Bedside Performance Program, in cooperation with ACM Lifting Lives in Las Vegas, in conjunction with the 2018 ACM Awards
"It was important because I think that, especially here, Vegas has done so much for country music," Ray tells PopCulture.com. "With ACM, the city of Las Vegas, and an importance this week, especially, I think the togetherness; this is the first time a lot of people have been back to Las Vegas. I think it's gonna help with lot of people healing. It's gonna really show our community and our strength as a family of country, that we are, as country music."
Ray actually had other plans the day the day Musicians on Call officially launched their program, but changed them because being part of the organization is so important to him.
"We were here today to say how grateful we are to the first responders that were there that pushed everything aside and went to work doing what they do, trying to save lives, and saw something that people shouldn't ever see," explains Ray. "And so, to make time to be in a room with those men and women, and to tell them, 'Thank you,' and to be here with ACM's Lifting Lives and Musicians on Call, two programs that I think are unbelievable. They really show the healing power of music, they really show that we're a part of something way bigger than us."
The "Get to You" singer has personally seen how important music is to helping people heal, especially after experiencing something as traumatic as the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting.
"I think that you see the impact when you walk into a room a week later, and you see a father or a wife or a mother or a sister, brother, whomever, and they haven't smiled since," he says. "They haven't really said anything, they've just kind of been here. But the second you walk in, you play some music, it takes them away, and that's the great thing of music. When you do a live show with music, whether it's on a stool in front of one person or it's on a stage in front of 50,000 you see the impact that it has.
"And you see the movement," he continues, "and you can feel it, and it takes you away from anything going on in your world at that moment. For those three and a half minutes, for that 75 minutes, nothing else matter except losing yourself in the music."0comments
Photo Credit: Instagram/michaelraymusic