Talk to: LI Northwell Nursing Choir members, finalists on ‘AGT’

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LONG ISLAND, NY – The Northwell Health Nurse Choir is officially in the final stages of “America’s Got Talent”. The choir, made up of 18 working nurses from across New York State, has several members who live and work on Long Island. Patch spoke with four members of the choir, who reflected on their journey from amateur singers to one of the talent show’s most popular acts.

Christian Montanez works at the North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset. He said when they created the choir he knew it was an inspiring story but didn’t expect such a great response from the audience.

“What’s so unique about this choir,” he said, “is that we are all bedside nurses – singing is a shared passion or talent for us.”

“It was such an honor to get the ‘golden buzzer’ in the first round and to have such positive feedback. Every time we compete the competition gets harder. In the next round we will fight for our lives. “

On Tuesday, the 18-member choir performed live “Don’t Give Up On Me” by Andy Grammer.

The final will air on September 14 and 15.

Keisha Jaboin also works at North Shore University Hospital. She told Patch that she saw how the choir had progressed over the months. Northwell Health, New York State’s largest employer with 80,000 employees, has given nurses flexibility in balancing performance and work, and nurses “make it work.”

Winnie Mele, director of nursing at Plainview Hospital, agreed.

“It’s important to us and so we’ve all made the commitment and we take the time. We represent everyone we work with, from cafeteria workers to maintenance staff.

Choir members are hopeful that the Nursing Choir can continue to perform at conferences or professional events, but there are no definite plans for the end of the show yet.

Shonda Ramirez, who grew up on Long Island and works in Forest Hills, says joining the choir reminded her how much she loved to sing.

“This choir has been phenomenal for me. I used to sing when I was younger with my family in church and when I started caring for and raising my family I stopped singing. in public. [The choir] made me realize how much I love to sing. “

“It’s so cathartic and healing for me.”

Some of the choir members perform as musicians in addition to their full-time nursing jobs, such as Christian Montanez and Josh Hombrebueno of South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore.

Montanez and Winnie Mele both predict that choir members will continue to want to sing, whether as a hobby or together as a choir in the future.

“Singing is what we love,” Mele said.

“I don’t want this dream to end,” Montanez added.

The show’s winning actor will receive a $ 1 million grand prize and a seat at the “America’s Got Talent Las Vegas Live” stage show in Las Vegas in November.

But Shonda Ramirez explained that winning was not her ultimate goal, but conveying a message to those who listened to her was her priority.

“Our message is addressed to nurses, patients, citizens, and it is to stand firm, to be united. You cannot lose sight of mutual aid.”


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