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This fundraiser ended on 08/31/10

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Jane Hanson, beloved friend and teacher, suffered an attack of viral encephalitis in June, and may be out of work for as long as a year. Please make a donation today to help Jane on her long road to recovery.

For our friend and beloved teacher, Jane Hanson, the onset came suddenly, a terrifying loss of her ability to speak and a disorientation in afternoon traffic. Her friend and colleague Jason Trotta helped her get to Cooley Dickinson Hospital, where she was admitted and diagnosed with viral encephalitis. A few weeks later, she was admitted to Baystate Medical Center, where she was treated with high-dose steroids for the inflammation in her brain.

For so many of us who are her friends and students, the news spread like ripples on water. Our teacher and friend would have to suspend all of her musical endeavors, while she takes the long road to recovery from this mysterious, debilitating illness. We have faith it is temporary. In the meantime, her savings have been exhausted and her income is on hold.

As anyone who knows her can testify, Jane is much more of a giver than a taker—but this time she really needs us. And, as her friends, we are asking for your help.

The idea of musical life in the Pioneer Valley with Jane “on-hold” is almost unimaginable. She is a multi-talented, deeply skilled, and widely-versed musician—a pianist, conductor, and a singer with an exceptionally lovely mezzo-soprano voice. In addition to her vocal performance workshops and classes as director of her company, Jane Hanson Productions, she has conducted performances of operas and musicals in the Valley, led the Keene (N.H.) Chorale for six seasons, sung in and conducted many performances of the Chamber Music Society at Wistariahurst, to name just a few.

Her impact on individuals in her classes and private voice studio has been just as great. She has helped scores of students to overcome technical and emotional inhibitions--in some cases physical injury--and then to go beyond that, to engage our whole selves, body and soul, in the joyful art of singing. For many of us, this has been a very special gift. Jane is a feisty, strong-minded, generous person who doesn’t back down from life, and she won’t let YOU do so either. The idea of her being house-bound is really, really wrong, but it is what she needs to do to marshal her forces and recover.

She has health insurance, but additional, uncovered medical expenses mount, as do the expenses of keeping and maintaining her house in Holyoke. She is a single mother, with a bright and beautiful 10 year old boy, Xavier, and anyone who knows her knows her total dedication and love for him, and the closeness of their bond. Jane’s brother, Alex, and his wife, Cristen, faithfully cared for Xavier at their home in Vermont this summer. They have done so much to support Jane, but their resources are limited, and so it will take all of us to help her through this. She may be out of work for as long as a year. She has arranged for her classes and workshops to be carried on, so that Jane Hanson Productions will continue, but any income from these now goes to hiring faculty to carry on those programs.

Jane has to spend much of the day lying down, but her spirit is upright as she talks about the outpouring of love and kindness she has already received. She proudly points to the scores of cards – “I call it my card garden, a garden I don’t have to water,” she says—from those who miss her and wish her well. She expresses her gratitude often and openly to the friends who have helped her through this crisis. Recovery will take time. Please consider making a contribution to The Friends Of Jane Fund through this safe and secure website.

THANK YOU – Jason Trotta, Laura Jenkins, Evelyn Harris, David Perkins, Betty Forrest, Pamela Smith, Stephen Biegner, & Janet Egelston

Note: In addition to raising funds on this website, a benefit concert for Jane will be offered on October 17th at First Churches in Northampton, MA, and volunteers will be needed to ensure its success. If you would like to become involved, please contact Jason Trotta via email at:

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