She’s a nurse, and she’s a music booking agent. Talk about a disconnect. Most folks might think the two careers have no common denominators.
Meet Linda Seybert, RN. She’s the intersection at which the two seemingly divergent paths cross. But to hear her tell it, the jobs aren’t too far apart.
“It’s not all that different from nursing,” says Seybert of her role as promoter and booking agent for Chaplin’s in Spring City, Pa. “The skill sets are surprisingly similar. As a nurse, you’re often the middle man. You’re the one relaying information. A booking agent does the same thing.”
When she’s wearing her nurses’ scrubs, Seybert is an oncology nurse at Doylestown Hospital who also is certified in cardiac care.
But when she’s not working a 12-hour shift there, she likely is attacking her work at Chaplin’s, an intimate music café, with equal vigor.
“For the most part, I work three days a week at the hospital,” Seybert says. “So I have those other days to do this. … I have free rein here [at Chaplin[‘]s]. I pretty much book what I want, and if there are issues, I’m the go-between between the artist and the management. But it’s just very similar to what I’ve been training for all my adult life.”
Seybert fell into the music role after bluegrass musician Ed Lick, who is now her husband, asked Seybert to help his band, Blue Roots, get some bookings. She loved it so much she began her own business, Linda Seybert Promotions, in 2006.
Benefit concert combines careers
On a recent night, Seybert’s two careers joined forces. The opportunity arose when a headline performer canceled and the other musician scheduled to play suggested turning the performance into a benefit concert.
“I told him I thought it was a fabulous idea,” Seybert says of her conversation with singer/songwriter Justin Solonynka. “But later, I was driving to work, and I thought, ‘Wait a minute. Why don’t I just raise money for my own backyard?’ It just hit me, if a little belatedly.”
What emerged was the inaugural Doylestown Hospital Fundraiser to raise money and awareness for the hospital’s oncology department. On the bill with opener Solonynka were jazz artists Krista Parrish, Miss Tess, and the Thomas B. Razler Quartet.Melissa Peacock, RN; Patricia Wood, RN; and Kathryn Conley, RN, BA, perform as the Code 9 Singing Nurses at Chaplin’s in Spring City, Pa.
RNs share spotlight
A new trio called the Code 9 Singing Nurses made their debut that night at Chaplin’s. Melissa Peacock, RN, Patricia Wood, RN, and Kathryn Conley, RN, BA, appeared in the middle of the lineup to perform a pair of songs, “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” and “Proud Mary.” Peacock, whom Seybert calls “Doylestown’s karaoke queen,” also took a solo spin with “Think of Me” from Phantom of the Opera.
Seybert describes how she took the idea to work with her, and the first person she saw was Peacock. “She always tells me how she loves to go out and do karaoke,” Seybert says. “So I said, ‘Hey Melissa, I’m thinking of doing a benefit show for the hospital. Want to be a part of it?’ She said yes, and it snowballed from there.”
Going into the performance, Seybert hoped to raise $1,000. Ultimately, $550 was raised. Although it was a little short, Seybert wasn’t disappointed. She intends for that money to help one patient pay cancer-related hospital bills.
“Every penny helps, and we were glad to do it — no matter where it ends up,” she says.
More concerts to come
Seybert has a few more ideas up her sleeve for future benefit concerts. One involves her other passion — medical missions. In 2005, through her church, she began working with Macedonian Medical Missions, based out of Somerset, Ky. Churches from across the country send medical aid to places in need. About 40 people go on each mission trip. Seybert’s first trip, three years ago, was to Thailand.
“I was hooked,” she says. “It’s really the most amazing thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
Since, she’s added passport stamps from Belize, Tanzania, and Mongolia — her favorite so far, a place she calls “very biblical.” Up next is a trip to the Philippines. Each trip costs about $3,000, so Seybert has considered holding a benefit concert for the group.
But she will not abandon the cause that started the ideas flowing.
“This might not even be the first annual,” Seybert says of the Doylestown fundraising event. “It might be the first one this year. I recently got a phone call from our ER director, who said, ‘You know, we have talent down here, too.’ … So you never know what will come next. Anything you can do to help the hospital out and raise money for it is a great cause.”