Music of the Heart

<p>Read how Lorie and John Lytle brought music to the lives of people with developmental disabilities</p>

The generosity of others is providing a life-changing experience for musicians with disabilities from around the country.

For Lorie and John Lytle, music is a family affair. They met through their love of music when both were working at MCA Records in the 1990s and now, more than a decade later, they are happily married and are the proud parents of three young children. The couple first discovered the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center in 2003 and quickly became loyal supporters of the Center’s work. When approached by Vanderbilt Kennedy Center leadership about the possibility of helping with a new summer camp focused on music and designed to support individuals with Williams syndrome, who have a special affinity for music, Lorie quickly jumped at the chance. Utilizing her strong relationships from her time on Music Row, Lorie helped make the camp a reality.

Now moving into its sixth year in 2010, the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Music Camp is a residential camp where campers with Williams syndrome and other developmental disabilities celebrate music by participating in a songwriting workshop, a recording session, visits to local music sites, and a live performance on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. The camp also includes opportunities for campers and their families to take part in research and provides training opportunities for young people who staff the camp. Most importantly, campers learn ways to use music therapeutically, since anxiety is often associated with the syndrome and other developmental disabilities.

Lorie and John’s gifts over the years have ensured the continuation of the program, particularly during a critical juncture when the camp was threatened due to lack of funding. For Lorie, supporting the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Arts Program is a natural fit, combining her passion for music with her passion for serving people with developmental disabilities.

To learn how you or your organization can support Music Camp and other Vanderbilt Kennedy Center programs, please contact Jan Rosemergy at or (615) 322-8238.

Last Updated: 10/1/2009 2:22:32 PM

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