Tar Heels share their talents with the community

A student group of Tar Heel musicians puts healing in harmony by spreading music throughout the community.

Students gathered outside with music stands and violins.

Student-led music service club Heeling in Harmony takes volunteering to the next level by using their musical abilities to spread sound and joy throughout the Carolina and Chapel Hill communities.

Senior Martha-Grace Jackson.

Created in 2017, the student group performs at UNC Hospitals, local nursing homes and the Ronald McDonald House to bring music to patients and their families. The club has 85 active members, including string players, pianists, singers and woodwind players.

“We really try to seek people and bring them into the club to welcome them to come and play with us,” said Martha-Grace Jackson, president of Heeling in Harmony and a Carolina sophomore double majoring in music and computer science in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The group typically plays arrangements of popular classical and trending music but aims to keep the music centered around themes of venues.

At the hospital, they play Disney hits, movie music, seasonal favorites and a few classical selections. Around Halloween, the group performed instrumental arrangements of Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean music. At the nursing homes, they play well-known classics, such as Dvorak’s American Quartet.

“We like to build those relationships with patients and bring music to people who can’t leave where they are or wouldn’t have access to live music otherwise,” says Jackson. “I want people to know that there are great opportunities available at Carolina to spread music in the community and just how impactful taking your music outside of the classroom or acapella group can be.”

Students in masks with violins and music stands.

Students play violins and a cello.

Most recently, during the holiday season, the group ventured to Carolina Meadows, a local nursing home, with a string quartet and two vocalists. They played Christmas classics and spread holiday joy to residents, Jackson said.

“It’s a really unique and special experience for everyone,” she said. “I think that is one of the most unique things about our club. You can share your talents with the community.”