Maureen McGovern Announces New Journey
Since 2014 Michael Shirtz began working with awarding winning actress and recording artist Maureen McGovern as music director, performer, and arranger - working with McGovern on special projects such as Musical Milligrams of Hope, national tours and performances, and programs in music and healing.
In August, Maureen made a special announcement regarding her future career as she was diagnosed with posterior cortical atrophy. While her performance and touring work will no longer be a part of her career, she will continue on with composing and doing work in music and healing. Michael will continue to work with her as music director/arranger for her upcoming projects and activities.
See Maureen's message below.
A Special Message from Maureen McGovern
August 19, 2022
Greetings one and all,
I have been truly blessed with a singing and theater career that has absolutely filled my life with joy.
I have performed around the world in concerts, with great musicians and wonderful symphony orchestras, and have also had the absolute thrill of performing in musical theatre programs from New York to California. And, aside from my theatre works…how could I not mention that I was the Singing Nun in the movie Airplane.
Looking back to my early age of 18, I began my first solo career playing guitar and singing Folk music. There I was, singing my heart out to “The Times They Are A Changing”…on a wobbly platform…above the bar…looking down to a plethora of mostly intoxicated men…having one hell of a great time not listing to me. But, hey, you got to start somewhere. And start, I did…never giving up in a carousel of ups and downs.
But in 1972, all of that changed when I recorded “The Morning After” for The Poseidon Adventure, and my journey as a singer and recording artist took off for the next four decades!
However, my life has now taken a different path. I’ve been diagnosed with posterior cortical atrophy with symptoms of Alzheimer’s and/or Dementia.
What I do, or what I am still able to accomplish, has changed. I can no longer travel or perform in live concerts. In fact, I can no longer drive — how’s that for a kick in the butt?
Of course, it’s a challenge, but it certainly is not going to keep me from living my life. At first, I began having trouble finding, in my brain, the words I wanted to say. I struggled with the inevitable shock with fear and frankly hopelessness.
But slowly I realized that my inner life has not changed. My passion for music, for singing, remains profoundly robust. To me, music is a language that expresses what often cannot be said with just words – it elevates, expands, and heals – brings joy and comfort and can eliminate barriers by creating meaningful experiences. So, accepting this new stage in my life, I began to embrace what I have and let it be.
For many years, I’ve performed in hospitals, hospices, women’s prison, senior facilities, schools, and the joy of singing with young children. Children’s responses are immediate, unfiltered, and so much fun. I’ve loved writing songs for kids, and I will continue to do so. And, I will be working to bring more attention and awareness to Music Therapy.
We are all patients and care givers at some time in our lives. I have experienced how music and the arts free our spirits and opens our hearts to our common humanity.
I hope you will continue to join me on these next endeavors.
May all your lives be filled with music.
Be well, be safe, and know you are loved.