The next time you are visiting Grande Ronde Hospital, pay close attention if you hear sweet sounds of gentle bells softly ringing through the hospital’s overhead messaging system. A very special lullaby now plays to welcome every new baby born at the Hospital.
"We are getting a lot of good feedback from patients and visitors. It has been really sweet to hear the lullaby and realize that upstairs a family is celebrating a new life," hospital spokesperson Mardi Ford says.
For more than two years GRH had been considering ideas for a sweet and simple way to honor new babies right at birth, by announcing it discreetly to the entire hospital. Doug Romer, executive director of patient care services at GRH, came up with the idea of playing a lullaby. Romer, Ford and the hospital's Family Birthing Center staff began the search for music. It was harder than they thought to find that signature piece.
"We searched for the right music for more than a year. We wanted it to be very special – somewhat traditional and soft, but also unique. And, of course, we wanted the opinion of our birthing center nurses because they know our new moms and babies best," Romer explains.
Last Christmas, one of the birthing center's nurses approached Romer with what she thought was a perfect fit. Peg Brown, who has been a bell ringer since 1998, has played with local bell choir Bellagio for many years. While rehearsing with the group for a holiday performance, she one of their pieces – "Christmas Lullaby" by composer Chip Davis, of Mannheim Steamroller – would be perfect as a lullaby for the hospital.
"As we were learning this beautifully gentle and melodic piece – I realized it was the lullaby we'd been looking for," says Brown.
During one of the group's dress rehearsals last December at First Presbyterian Church, Ford had the lullaby videoed so the audio file could be used for the announcements. Manheim Steamroller's agent was approached by Ford and asked for approval to use approximately eight bars of the piece, while technical capabilities and logistics for running the New Baby Lullaby program were completed. The approval was obtained and the program finally launched earlier this month.
The beautifully filmed video of the rehearsal of Bellagio performing that short section of "Christmas Lullaby" by Chip Davis may be viewed here.
Grande Ronde Hospital, Inc.would like to thank Mr. Davis and Mannheim Steamroller for allowing its use, courtesy of American Gramaphone LLC, and Dots and Lines Ink.