May 13, 2013

Hugworks, a nonprofit organization offering music therapy for children of all ages, will present “An Afternoon with Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary” at 3 p.m. May 19 at SMU’s Greer Garson Theatre.

Musician Noel Paul Stookey

Musician Noel Paul Stookey

Proceeds from the benefit concert will help support Hugworks, which was founded in 1981 by SMU alumni Paul Hill ’72, who holds a bachelor’s degree in music – theory and composition from Meadows School of the Arts, and Jim Newton ’75, who earned a master’s degree in theology from Perkins School of Theology. The organization offers therapeutic entertainment and music therapy, comfort and encouragement to children in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, early childhood centers and music therapy clinics.

As a member of the legendary folk music trio Peter, Paul and Mary, Stookey became a household name in the 1960s. The group performed to a full house at SMU in 1964. Stookey’s interest in the therapeutic values of music led him to Hugworks in the 1980s.

Tickets for the benefit concert may be purchased on the Hugworks website. General admission tickets are $40 each. VIP tickets, which include admission to a post-benefit reception for Stookey and an autographed copy of his CD, “One & Many,” are $100 for one or $150 for two. The Greer Garson Theatre is located in the Owens Arts Center at 6101 Bishop on the SMU campus.

The music therapy department at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts has partnered with Hugworks for the past five years. Meadows’ music therapy students have worked under the mentorship of Hugworks music therapists to provide services in a variety of settings, including SMU’s music therapy clinic, the Hugworks Music Therapy Clinic in Hurst, Texas, and at area hospitals, rehabilitation and other facilities.

Noel Paul Stookey (left) with Mary Travers and Peter Yarrow from SMU's 1964 Rotunda yearbook.

Noel Paul Stookey (left) with Mary Travers and Peter Yarrow from SMU’s 1964 Rotunda yearbook.

“SMU students must complete 1,200 hours of supervised fieldwork before graduation and board exams, so the opportunity for them to work with the therapists at Hugworks has been critical to their successful completion of our program,” says Robert Krout, professor and director of music therapy at SMU.

More than 18,000 children, family members and health care professionals are assisted by Hugworks each year.

With Stookey, Hugworks has produced three award-winning CD collections of music for children with special medical and emotional needs: “We Can Do,” “Best I Can Be” and “World Around Song.” Work on a fourth CD will begin shortly after the concert.

“I love the music we make at Hugworks. Jim, Paulie and I recognize that we are building trust at the same time we’re sharing this music, and for that reason, we don’t speak down to the listener. We respect the intelligence of children and the grownups, both musically and thematically,” says Stookey. “The upcoming Hugworks IV release will be possibly the most important musical project we’ve ever done.”

For more information about the event, call Hugworks at 817-268-0020 or visit the Hugworks website.