Patient entertainment hit a high note when the Ben Ali Oriental Band performed for kids at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California earlier this month.
“It was wonderful, and the kids absolutely loved it,” said Therapeutic Recreation and Child Life manager Melissa Grialou. “They brought instruments for the kids to play, and they donated a lot of instruments to the hospital for more kids to enjoy,” she added.
Composed of members of the Ben Ali Shrine, the Oriental Band participates in parades and plays at special events. They played at the June 3 Shriners Hospital Walk for LOVE and, of course, in the hospital’s central activity area on Sunday, August 20.
“The term ‘oriental’ refers to the type of music we play, mostly of the Middle Eastern style,” said band member David Glass, who arranged the hospital visit. “Our instruments consist of musettes (a reed woodwind instrument), glockenspiels and various percussions — like drums, tambourines, and cymbals — for the beat,” he explained.
The seven-member Ben Ali Oriental Band, also known as the Bengal Lancers, is part of the Association of Shrine Oriental Bands. The Oriental Band supports Shriners Hospitals for Children through its Ladder of Smiles fund. Over the years, the Association of Shrine Oriental Bands has donated over $2.4 million to support Shriners Hospitals for Children.