BENNINGTON — Residents at Southwestern Vermont Health Care's Centers for Living and Rehabilitation on Wednesday were honored by their community with a ceremony and a musical performance.
Cynthia Ellison, the Centers' activities director, read the names of the residents that had served, and the branch of the armed forces they served with, and presented them with a certificate. Cake was then dished out.
Michael Wimberly, percussionist and professor at Bennington College, performed with two students from his African Percussion class. Wimberly, who has preformed regularly for Alzheimers patients at the Centers, sang a rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner," before launching into a repertoire that included several traditional African songs, as well as Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds."
"I'm not a fan of war, of course not, no one is, but sometimes we have to do this to keep people and communities safe," said Wimberly, thanking the veterans for making that possible.
Wimberly has said in the past that he truly believes in the power of music as a method of alternative healing. He joined the Bennington College faculty in 2012, and, besides teaching his African Music Ensemble, teaches courses on drumming, improvisation, composition, and music history.