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September 9, 2019

Equal Housing Opportunity

Dominic Chianese to Perform in Honor of Friend

Dominic Chianese, known to his fans as “Uncle Junior” on the HBO TV Series The Sopranos, was performing at The Methodist Home of DC when he heard a loud voice joining with him from across the room.

“When Dominic was singing, one of the things that he emphasized was to sing along with him." Linda Moreno, Director of Therapeutic Recreation at the Methodist Home recounts Dominic Chianese’s first visit to the assisted living and nursing home facility. “Everyone was singing, but of course Mr. Shave sang the loudest and just knew every song. So when Mr. Shave started singing, Dominic immediately started walking toward him.”

In May 2012, Dominic Chianese contacted the American Health Care Association (AHCA) to see if they could recommend a facility in Washington, DC where he would be able to perform for National Nursing Home Week. AHCA, having formed a relationship with the Methodist Home earlier that year, knew just the place for Chianese to visit.

“We have developed a great relationship with AHCA. Well over a year later, they are still sending us volunteers every second Tuesday of the month.” Moreno says she is grateful to AHCA for suggesting that Chianese perform at the Methodist Home.

No stranger to nursing homes (Chianese started the foundation “Joy Through Art” as a way to “improve the quality of life for residents of nursing homes through regular interaction with professional artists”), Chianese performed at the Methodist Home three times in 2012. For his first visit, Chianese stayed afterward to sing songs one-on-one with nursing home resident William Shave, whose booming voice had accompanied him during the performance. When Mr. Shave moved into the Methodist Home in 2010 he had to leave behind his pride and joy, an old vintage Gibson Guitar – it had become difficult for him to play. So when Dominic Chianese offered him his guitar, Mr. Shave excitedly accepted and started singing Danny Boy with him. Chianese returned to the Methodist Home twice after this performance, each time enjoying the accompaniment of Mr. Shave.

When Bettie Shave got the message to Chianese that her father had passed away last month, Chianese expressed that he wanted to be at the service. Unfortunately, the service was scheduled for March 19th and Chianese already had a prior engagement. No one could have expected that the following day Chianese would call back, announcing that he had cleared his calendar and would be attending the memorial service to honor his friend.

Memorial service for William Shave will be held on Tuesday, March 19th at 2:30 PM at The Methodist Home of DC. Dominic Chianese will perform “Amazing Grace” and “Danny Boy”, and will host a sing-a-long following the service in memory of Mr. Shave.