Carole Galli jazzes up some support for hospice program

HILTON HEAD — Carole Galli wants to use her God-given gift to help others. This retired teacher, high school choral conductor and cantor at St. Francis by the Sea Church hopes to do just that through a CD of songs she performed and a recent fund-raising concert.

Galli moved to Hilton Head from Michigan in 2004 with her husband, daughter and then 91-year-old mother. Her mother’s health slowly declined before she passed away in August. In May, Galli had sought the assistance of Hospice Care of the Lowcountry.

She was so grateful for the compassionate care provided by the staff and volunteers at Hospice Care of the Lowcountry, she decided she wanted to do something to help.

“Being a singer, I decided to do what came easiest to me,” she said.

Through sponsorships she was able to pay for the compact disk production costs. The Coligny Theatre was donated for use as the concert venue, and the baby grand piano, sound engineer and equipment were also donated. That generosity put Galli in the black.

All proceeds from the sale of the $20 CD, which contains nine jazz and seven sacred tunes, all favored by her late parents, go directly to Hospice Care of the Lowcountry.

Her goal is to raise $15,000.

Galli kicked off the May 19 performance with a popular tune, “I Got Rhythm,” with those familiar lyrics, “Who could ask for anything more?”

“Really, who could ask for anything more,” Galli asked the audience. “I am joined by these wonderful musicians, an amazing crowd, and here I am living out my dream and doing what I love and want to do.”

Jonathan Davis, the organist and keyboardist at St. Francis, joined Galli on piano, while other area musicians filled in on saxophone, clarinet, drums and the bass. Galli’s effervescent energy sparkled as she took the stage to croon some of her deceased parents’ favorites, plus her own top choices and songs she hoped the audience would love.

Galli’s musical education began at an early age standing next to a little pump organ in the living room of her grandmother’s country farm. Her grandma loved to play and sing hymns.

When Galli asked her parents for a piano at the age of five, it was her grandmother who encouraged her parents to “find the money.”

Her parents found an affordable used piano and Galli began piano lessons.

“Little did any of them know that they were launching me into a world which would sustain me financially and emotionally for many years to come,” she said.

While her grandmother was teaching her Protestant hymns, her mother was taking her to weekly Mass where she learned Gregorian chants. Another part of her musical education came from attending the movies her parents loved. They never missed a musical, according to Galli.   

In high school she fell in love with choral music. Private voice lessons led to the State Singers and Opera Workshop at Michigan State University, a summer at Interlochen Music Camp and finally a degree in vocal performance from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

That auspicious start was followed by 33 years as a music educator in Royal Oak, Mich.  

Now retired, Galli said she uses music to soothe her soul and to help others where she can by organizing benefit concerts and now this CD.

Galli’s CDs are available by calling St. Francis by the Sea Church at (843) 681-6350.
Contact Galli at (843) 689-9495 or CDs are $20.