Dear Friends,

It is with joy and pride that I find myself serving in the position of Board Chair and I want to briefly reflect on that.  I am grateful to work with a dedicated, deeply engaged and distinguished Board team.  However, I am the only member of the Board who has known the work of the Chalice of Repose Project in a variety of forms as it emerged and flourished in all three historical locations: Colorado, Montana, and during the last fifteen years in Oregon.

In my former capacity as a program director at the Fetzer Institute in Kalamazoo, Michigan, I worked with leaders in medicine, psychology, science, media, culture, religion and spirituality.  I managed multi-year grants awarded to individuals at prestigious universities. I served as the publisher of Advances:The Journal of Mind-Body Health — the first peer-reviewed journal in that field.  I led the planning and conceptual development of the Emmy Award winning PBS series, “Healing and the Mind with Bill Moyers” and was also project director for “STILL/HERE with Bill T. Jones and Bill Moyers” and “Healing and the Arts with Bill Moyers” and consulted on “On Our Own Terms: Moyers on Dying in America.”  At Fetzer, we also developed and funded a wide variety of print and broadcast publishing efforts, pioneering scientific research, and work in consciousness, spirituality, and religious studies.  It was an honor to help bring the work of artists, scientists, physicians, journalists, cultural commentators and religious leaders to a wide viewing and reading public and to do our best to expand the meaning of health to include Fetzer’s mission directives of wholeness, freedom and love.

I first learned about the field of music-thanatology and of Therese Schroeder-Sheker’s pioneering work of the Chalice of Repose Project when the Fetzer Institute asked Therese to make a presentation to its directors and trustees in Michigan in early 1991.  Everyone at Fetzer was deeply moved and impressed by Therese and her presentation, and soon awarded a generous multi-year grant to support her and the Chalice work, with the caveat that a formalized structure and corporation (as a 501-c-3) be created.  This corporate filing took place in July of 1992.  The Institute also funded the Paul Kaufman documentary film on Therese’s Contemplative Musicianship in Death and Dying which won 1st place in the Palm Springs International Film Festival Video Award in 1997, and later, in 2001, Fetzer also supported the first book ever published on music-thanatology, also authored by Therese, TRANSITUS: A BLESSED DEATH IN THE MODERN WORLD.

Over the years since 1991, I have seen the work of the school, the clinical practice, the publications, and the organization grow and transition through each exciting stage.  I am grateful to have such a rare continuity of insight and information from my Board service in both Montana and Oregon.  The quality of the work pioneered and advanced by Therese and her colleagues in this organization, in education, publishing and clinical care continues to inspire me.  Therese’s commitment to continually publish has been a huge (decades long) public service.  I am particularly excited about a series of publications which will begin to become available in 2018.

In the meantime, I invite you to explore a significant recent work published by IAMM (International Association for Music & Medicine) in April of 2017.  Please go to and find MUSIC & MEDICINE/2017/Volume9/Issue2/Pages 128-144. Therese Schroeder-Sheker’s “The Chalice of Repose Project’s Music Thanatology History and Praxis” presents an in-depth 44 year history.

MUSIC & MEDICINE is jointly sponsored by Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in New York and The Institute for Music Therapy, and the University for Music and Drama HfMT Hamburg in Germany. Please consider supporting their vital work.

I hope you will return to this page again in November to see the schedule for the upcoming book series in contemplative musicianship and music-thanatology.

Warm regards,

Carol Hegedus

Chairperson, Chalice of Repose Project Board of Directors

Last updated Thursday, 20-Jul-2017