The Minstrels are a lively troupe of volunteer
singers and musicians who have seen how music heals, having visited
shelters, residential facilities and prisons each month since
1991. Their interactive pop, rock and folk events touch audiences
of about 4,000 each year.
Caspar is a "wet" shelter, where guests are allowed to enter under the
influence of a substance, but not allowed to "use" while there.
met "Bob" at Caspar. It was winter time and it was the first time I
had seen him there. He looked very clean, well dressed and sober. I
said hello to him and didn't get much of a response and he seemed angry
or upset, so I gave him some space. I watched him during the night
and he seemed to warm up, enjoying the music and he did start to sing.
By the end of the evening, he was jolly and singing along with all the
songs. As we went into the closing circle, I joined him, taking his
hand, and asked him if he had a good time.
He told me his
story of the night. Bob started the evening at another shelter and was
"thrown out" because he was drunk. He had nowhere else to go, but to
Caspar, and he felt ashamed and degraded. He had believed that he was
"better than this", and it was a stunning come-down for him. So when
he entered, he was despondent and unwilling to socialize with anyone
there. To his surprise, there were many sober people there (including
Minstrels and guests), and they were friendly, warm and welcoming. He
was very moved by the music and our acceptance of him, and he wept as
he told me that it actually ended up to be one of the best nights he'd
had in a long time.
Again, and again, I see this with people at
their lowest, as we meet them with open arms and uplifting music. I
was moved by Bob's story and want to remind us all that we are not aware
of the impact of our mission most days, and that we touch them one at a
time, where in their current state, they feel untouchable." Marilyn B. Boston Minstrel Company Please Note: Caspar Welcomes Donations of all kinds, including clothing, shoes, books, toiletries, linens, etc.
"The Boston Minstrels were here tonight from 7 pm until 10. What an awesome night was had by all! The guests were dancing and singing. Each of the guys were taking turns playing instruments while saying Words of Gratitude about Family and Especially the tragedy that has effected us all since Marathon Monday. One Guest in particular kept chanting” Pine Street Strong”…..It was great to see our guests so content and happy singing and praising just for today! One of our guests sat crying in his wheelchair playing a small drum but crying tears of happiness. A few sang solos as well as two and three in groups picked their own songs.
I wish we had permission to take photos to capture our guests in their happy times. The group ended forming a large circle of friends new and old holding hands with a final song.
I look forward to The Boston Minstrels returning. Thank You."Francine W.Pine Street Inn
It is with great sadness that we note the passing of our beloved Bob DeSimone. Bob
loved the Minstrels, being one of the earliest singers and charter board
member and president. Always with an encouraging smile, happy
disposition, and a can do attitude. A true inspiration to all. Please
hold Bob in your fondest thoughts and send your special energy to his