Musicians On Call Gift Hospital Patients a Virtual Christmas Concert

Just what the doctor ordered.

Written by Chris Parton
Musicians On Call Gift Hospital Patients a Virtual Christmas Concert
Cassadee Pope; Photo credit: John Shearer

For the second holiday season in a row, it’s even tougher than usual to be stuck in the hospital. Patients around the nation are feeling the blues of missing family and friends at a time meant for gathering together — but once again, country stars are stepping in to help. Through the non-profit Musicians On Call, they’re taking part in a special virtual concert that is just what the doctor ordered.

Hosted by Cassadee Pope and streaming on-demand through the end of the month, Hope for the Holidays Presented by Citi is a warm-hearted virtual show featuring big stars from country and beyond, hoping to give viewers the gift of a Christmas smile. Made just for hospital patients, their families and frontline caregivers, it’s bringing a seasonal pick-me-up directly to those who need one the most.

In the show, Lauren Alaina, Michael Bublé, Kelly Clarkson, Gavin DeGraw, Brett Eldredge, Grace Gaustad, Norah Jones, Cyndi Lauper, Maddie & Tae, Reba McEntire, Leslie Odom Jr., Jon Pardi, Teddy Swims, Switchfoot and more all deliver spirit-lifting performances of classic favorites and seasonal standouts. Meanwhile, Sofia Carson, Lester Holt, King Calaway, Katy Perry, Billy Porter, Olivia Rodrigo, Amanda Shires, Caitlyn Smith, Bryce Vine, X Ambassadors and others pop by to deliver warm holiday greetings.

It’s a digital, COVID-era take on the bedside work Musicians On Call has been doing for 20 years now, connecting some of the biggest artists in the world with their biggest fans in dire times — and that moment of in-person connection has positive effects on everyone involved. Host Cassadee Pope gives a preview of what this year’s Hope for the Holidays Presented by Citi is all about, unwrapping an intimate acoustic performance of her own original Christmas song, “Under the Tree.” She wrote the tune with boyfriend and actor Sam Palladio (Nashville, The Princess Switch), and sings the charming country-pop ode with a cozy vocal warble.

“Hospitals are a tough place to be this time of year, but we know a dose of holiday music is exactly what’s needed to help lift spirits,” said Musicians On Call President & CEO Pete Griffin. “Musicians On Call is honored to be joined by such incredible artists to put smiles on the faces of adult and pediatric patients, Veterans and caregivers everywhere. Thanks to sponsors like Citi and the American Hospital Association, who believe so strongly in the healing power of music, we are proud to host the largest virtual holiday concert exclusively for hospitals.”

“We are honored to continue our support for Musicians On Call and this important cause, Hope for the Holidays,” echoed Citi Interim CMO Tina Davis. “The pandemic continues to impact all of us, but it has disproportionately impacted vulnerable groups, including our country’s hospitalized patients and their caregivers. Citi is deeply proud to help spread the healing power of music this holiday season to all those who tune in to this special virtual concert.”

Musicians On Call and Citi teamed up with American Hospital Association (AHA) to provide access for the concert to more than 5,000 AHA member hospitals and health systems nationwide. Other sponsers include Amazon Music, HCA Healthcare and Warner Records. Since its founding, Musicians On Call has reached more than 900,000 individuals in healthcare facilities nationwide.