Shaina Schwartzberg is passionate about music. When she began working at The Bristal at Mount Sinai in 2020, the building has just opened. To connect with residents, Shaina began playing the piano in the dining room for them. Sometimes, residents would join her and sing along. Singing with residents would bring out all kinds of emotions, memories, and moments that they would share together. From this, Shania founded The Glee Club to create a place where everyone could share their passion of music together. “Implementing The Glee Club was a way for not only me to share my love of music, but to share that passion with residents.”
“We’re really one big happy family,” said Shaina. “The music has brought everyone together.” A notable duo in The Glee Club is Lucio and Bob. They say the club has brought them closer together as friends. They even have their own duet they perform together with Lucio singing the melody and Bob singing the harmony to “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.” The duet ends with their own comical version they made up.
Bob has always had a passion for music, and singing in The Glee Club brings back memories of his family. “I love singing, my family always sang.” He and his wife shared their love of music with their seven children. Once, the whole family won a talent show for their performance of Edelweiss from The Sound of Music. “I can always remember singing because it’s good for the soul,” he said.
Today, The Glee Club has about 15 members. They perform for events in the community and recently they even performed at The Jazz Loft in Stony Brook for their friends and family. While they love performing, Shaina says the real magic happens during rehearsals. “We come together at 2 o’clock on Mondays, and we leave everything at the door, and we sing, and we laugh, and we cry. It’s healing ultimately.”
When Shaina founded The Glee Club, she was a Recreation Assistant but since then, she has continued her career journey with The Bristal by moving up to the role of Assistant Administrative. Although she no longer works in recreation, she still leads The Glee Club and gets to share her passion for music with residents. “It almost felt like fate that I landed here,” she said. “I am the luckiest person in the world, that’s how I feel.”
Check out The Bristal at Mount Sinai’s community page to keep up with The Glee Clubs next adventures.