Great Causes: SBU students carol for children’s hospital patients


Patients at Stony Brook Children’s enjoyed performances of their favorite Christmas songs at the beginning of the month by Stony Brook University students.

Daria Carioscia, development officer for the Staller Center for the Arts, said with the help of funding from Island Federal, the organization was able to continue its music outreach program, the Instrument Petting Zoo

The interactive workshop is usually held at libraries, schools, non-profits, and more, Carioscia says, but with COVID-19, the program had to go virtual.

“Island Federal came to us and said they wanted to marry the two together and see if we can bring the Instrument Petting zoo to the children’s hospital,” she said. “It was just really spreading cheer to the kids and the families at Stony Brook Children’s hospital right now, as well as the staff could enjoy it.”

On Dec. 3, two singers and a few violinists caroled for the young patients, going room to room to spread holiday cheer for two hours.

Carioscia said they partnered with the Child Life program at the hospital as well, which works to enrich patients’ experiences through various activities during their stay.

“Reaching out to youth with music is always very touching, the Stony Brook music students love to be able to play for the kids because it’s a little bit of a different experience,” Carioscia said. “They light up, it just really brings a smile to the kid’s face.” 

The music students are expected to return to the hospital at least once a month through May to perform for the kids, Carioscia said.

Continue to follow for updates on this program.

Top: Carolers at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital. Photo courtesy of the Staller Center for the Arts Facebook page.