Rae McAlister’s Illness Will Not Stop Her From Performing

Everything Can Be Art, Fort Collins Music, photography

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Rae McAlister is a singer-songwriter in Fort Collins, CO.  She is currently in the studio with Paul Andrews at Bridge Studios laying down tracks for her debut album. She is no longer wasting time waiting for things to be perfect or when she has enough money or even when she is healthy enough. Rae realizes that tomorrow is not promised and life is short. She has set out to make the days matter and what that means to her is taking her creative career by the horns.

Just get out there and just do it ~Rae McAlister

Her music has an edge and raw emotion that entices you to hear more. She plays a hollow body guitar, and her soprano tones resonate the room in a very dynamic way. She hits high notes with power, intensity, and longevity. Her songs build to a strong climax. Her sound has an illusive sense of nocturne, a bit dreamy with an airy feel.

Rae has women musician mentors in the Fort Collins community, like Mer Sal of the Symbols, and Nancy Just who help her hone her craft and motivate her. She is really focused on being a heartfelt musician. Rae values music as a business and thinks you don’t have to be a superstar to be a successful musician.  She took The Online Musician teaching course, to expand her musical business service offerings.

Listen to the full interview here:

Every day that Rae plays music is a miracle. Music has always been a part of Rae McAlister. She was born and raised in a musical family. Her musical makeup consists of jazz, folk, and classical training. The thing about Rae is, she has the diagnosis of Myotonia Congenita, Thompson’s disease, and Ehler’s-Danlos. Several years ago her body was immobile leaving her in a wheelchair. Music was an impossible dream.

Rae’s muscles started detaching, seizing and pulling joints out of place, and she could not walk or perform her daily, routine task. She had to quit working or care-taking her family. She was bedridden, and her life took an unexpected turn. The diagnosis was a blessing because it finally meant doctors could start treating her illness. It was at that time she decided to embrace her creativity and devote her life to her passions.

Also, McAlister has an art business Rae’s-Transfiguration-Furnishings for her furniture, visual arts, and photography.She recently applied to be a visual artist for pianos about town. When she was struggling with her mobility Rae would make it a point to get dressed and go into Old Town Fort Collins to sit and play the piano. She contributes the very thing to healing. She noticed others doing the same thing in the community. Older people would flock to town just to play their favorite songs on the piano. It may be their one outing or the one social interaction of the day. As an homage to this, she would like to contribute her inspired design to the program.

Rae has never let her diagnosis get in the way of her creativity. If anything, she uses it to fuel her passion and achieve what some may say is UN-achievable. She cannot push her physical boundaries every day, but she always dreams and creates. Her positive nature shines through her pain. For that, the world can indulge in her art and her music.



Children Battling Critical Illness Get the Gift of Music

Everything Can Be Art, Social Causes

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Clark Hodge is the Executive Director of Chase the Music. Chase the Music has original music composed and performed for kids battling critical conditions. Hodge spent the majority of his life working in High Tech. Now Clark spends his day’s enriching lives through music with his non-profit.

Five years ago Clark met a little girl diagnosed with Leukemia and his world view was altered dramatically. He wanted to comfort her in some way. He thought a stuffed animal might do the trick. When a child is sick, they get dozens of soft teddy bears.  Clark realized the gift he wanted to give was music.

He connected the Colorado Symphony and Orchestra with the little girl, and together they wrote a song. A unique event held in her honor served as the unveiling of the song with close friends and family in attendance.

That little girl was Lauren. She told Hodge:

“Clark, I’m never going to stop smiling.” – Lauren, age 5, Leukemia

It changed Lauren’s life to have the opportunity to compose her own piece of music. It also moved Clark so deeply that he started the non-profit that pairs composers with critically ill children. He hopes to help many more children like Lauren.

Chase the Music is expanding its model and growing so that it will go beyond Clark’s circle. This summer a pilot program is launching in another country.

Music offers a special kind of healing. According to Cancer Research in the UK,

“Some studies show that music therapy can help children with cancer to cope, by encouraging them to cooperate and communicate.”

Music can alter a mood, evoke a feeling, serve as a reminder of a particular time, or just be a vehicle for peace. Music is a gift that truly keeps on giving for a lifetime.

“Music therapy can help people with cancer improve their quality of life. It can also help to reduce some cancer symptoms, and side effects of treatment.” –Cancer Research UK

Not only does the music touch the child and the family but also the artist is impacted. The audience fills the room with love for the child at the event. The whole process is healing and makes the child feel like a rock star. The event includes the family as a whole, knowing they are all going through a very traumatic experience. There is food, drink, and a presentation that honors the child in the critical condition.It is a true celebration of life. These have been very special moments to previous recipients.

To learn more about the organization or to get involved visit Chase the Music.