Since age 7, John Thayer knew he’d have a career in the music industry. After joining an a cappella group and teaching himself how to play guitar in high school, John decided to volunteer at nursing homes around Ohio. Even in a medical setting, John found a place for his music - he came to realize that alzheimer’s patients were often better at memorizing song lyrics than finishing their sentences. Nowadays, John is an aerobics instructor at Case Western Reserve University, and plays regularly with his fellow neighbors at the Van Aken District. He’s even planning to start a singing telegram service! Unlike most people, COVID-19 has presented him with many opportunities, and the “COVID Concert Series” has been a blessing for him. “The Van Aken concerts have given me lots of business and I feel like I’m finally getting my foot in the door,” he says. “I have a disparate list of songs now, so we’re not just playing the oldies - we play country, rock and even the top 40. With the weather getting colder and outdoor concerts being less likely, I can tighten my show this winter - I want to make it so entertaining that people don’t look away. I’m glad my show has been so popular, and has brought my neighborhood together… that’s been one of my main goals this whole time.” #PeopleofCLE
Dana Shugrue is a graduate of John Carroll University, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Media and Professional Writing. She is a full-time Content Specialist at Budget Dumpster, and part-time freelance writer for FreshWater Cleveland. When she’s not writing, you can catch Dana taking a run through the metros or sipping a latte at her favorite local coffee shop.