Lake Forest native serenades Chicago neighbors in support of health care workers
When David Greene learned that his brother, an ER doctor in the Northwest suburbs, was struggling with stress at work during the COVID-19 pandemic, he felt the need to do something. He felt the need to support all health care workers.
"My siblings and I got a text from our sister-in-law saying that my brother was extremely stressed out and angry. That was enough for me to be concerned," said Greene, who grew up in Lake Forest. "The way I see him affected by this really makes it hit home."
So Greene turned to the one thing that's always been a positive in his life -- singing. About a week ago, he decided to sing from his balcony, and he's done it every day since while quarantined.
"I'm shouting out my brother because there's not much I can do to support him. Sending out positive energy and love is the best I can do," Greene said.
Every day, Greene heads to his balcony at his Chicago Gold Coast condo to sing titles that send a positive message, make him feel good and, of course, are songs that he's performed in public before. Songs like "Ave Maria," "The Music of the Night" and "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" feel the most comfortable with his tenor voice, he says. Then he shares them on his YouTube channel. So far, the response has been supportive.
"People yell bravo. They clap. I tag my building on Facebook, and they've had good feedback. It brings me back to days in college when you could hear music coming out of people's windows. No one is complaining," Greene laughed.
Greene, a Realtor with Compass, is a big theater fan, and with no live performances right now, he misses it. Singing on his balcony and sharing it virtually helps fill that void and show his appreciation for essential workers.
"I love music. I have a passion for singing. I needed something that makes me feel good. There's an energy and spirit in my neighborhood for gratitude. They are showing kindness to each other and to front-line workers," said Greene, who's involved in the local music community with the Lyric Opera and the Chicago Symphony. "I'm getting something positive out there, and I'm so grateful for the work my brother and all our front-liners are doing."
For now, Greene will continue to share his talent and uplifting music with his neighbors and followers on YouTube during this pandemic. He hopes people are done with work when he heads out to his balcony around 6 p.m. every night.
"I try to do it when people are outside walking their dogs and have hung up their Zoom calls," said Greene, whose husband, John, records his performances on an iPhone 11.
Like all of us, Greene is missing the consistency of his normal schedule, like the weekly voice lessons in Hoffman Estates he's attended for the past 10 years. Singing daily, he says, is good self-discipline.
"It's the one thing I do each day that scares me. I'm singing a cappella, and anything could go wrong, but as soon as I start singing, I feel amazing," Greene explained. "It takes me out of everything that's going on and takes me to a higher place. This is a thank you to all the front-line workers."