As the spirited sounds of Irish music reverberated through the halls of Children’s Hospital of Georgia, patients emerged from their rooms, tapping their toes and drumming their fingers.
Having spent Wednesday morning watching television with his teddy bear, Carlos Garth Jr., of Grovetown, found an energy burst shortly after lunch.
“Now, it’s full of dancing,” he said.
Carlos was one of a handful of patients at the children’s hospital to take a short break from doctor visits and treatments for a concert. World-renowned Irish musicians Liz Knowles, Kieran O’Hare and Pat Broaders played several tunes, hoping to lift spirits.
“I just got poked with a needle and it hurt, so now it doesn’t hurt anymore,” said Carlos, without pausing between dance moves.
The musicians will play a benefit concert Thursday for the Press On to Cure Childhood Cancer Fund, a national fundraising campaign with Augusta ties that has given more than $1 million to pediatric cancer research.
The hospital concert brought the musicians closer to the cause they are supporting and gave children who cannot attend the fundraiser a chance to enjoy the music, said Lillie Morris, a local Irish musician who organized the concert.
“This (music) is part of how the Irish people keep their spirits up, and hopefully it will have the same effect here,” Morris said.
Knowles, who was the original fiddle player for the Irish touring show Riverdance, said musicians don’t often get time to meet people or understand issues in communities where they perform.
“You’re not just coming into a community and leaving,” Knowles said. “It’s a useful thing to bring music to people who often cannot go out and get it themselves.”
“It has such rhythm and it makes you so full of life,” she said.
Thursday’s concert is limited to the first 250 tickets sold.