St. Elizabeth dedicates studio to memory of NKY musicians Reed, Clare

The St. Elizabeth Cancer Center in Edgewood has dedicated its first-ever Music Therapy Studio in honor of Charles “Chuck” Gordon Reed III and Donald E. Clare, Jr., two musicians dedicated to supporting the arts in Northern Kentucky. 

Reed and Clare, both of whom passed away in 2017, were longtime performers with Suits That Rock, a fundraiser for The Carnegie in Covington that funds in-school, after-school, and summer camp art programming for local students.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to honor Don and Chuck’s memory, their love of music and their service to our community through the Music Therapy Studio,” said Carri Chandler, vice president of St. Elizabeth Foundation. “This studio exemplifies their lifelong passion for the arts and will serve as a resource for musical expression for patients and caregivers.”

Research shows people living with cancer who engage in creative arts experience less depression and anxiety than those who don’t. Arts therapy provides a relaxing escape for patients and caregivers, who can embrace the creative process to express emotions. It also nurtures social interaction, which can relieve anxiety and enhance healing. The St. Elizabeth studio will bring music therapy to its inpatient and outpatient programs.

Reed was the owner and president of River City Productions. He began playing guitar at age 12. For more than 40 years he played with local and regional bands including Strange Brew, The Nightlife Band, and DV8, in which he shared the stage with his wife and fellow Suits That Rock volunteer, Melissa Singer-Reed.

Sue Clare, Melissa Singer-Reed

“Music was such an important part of Chuck’s life,” Melissa said. “When Chuck was approached to be a part of Suits That Rock, he was so excited to volunteer.” 

Clare, a resident of Rabbit Hash, built his career around helping others as an emergency room nurse, at The Christ Hospital for 18 years, followed by 19 years at St. Elizabeth before retiring in 2015. He began singing and playing drums at the age of 16 and performed with a long list of bands, including Calico Rose and the Corryville Cowboys and The Buffalo Brothers. Clare was on the board of directors of the Rabbit Hash Historical Society.

“In addition to all of his volunteer efforts, Don loved performing with Suits That Rock – even though you would rarely catch him in a suit,” said his wife, Sue Clare. “Don would want nothing more than to see his legacy of music live on in a place where he spent a majority of his time – St. Elizabeth.”

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