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Musician Spreads Message of Hope with CD

A tiny plaque hangs from the corner of Julie Hussar's hammered dulcimer.

Inside a frame reads an inscription that sums up the soft-spoken Linden, Michigan, resident's philosophy on the notes that pour from her instrument: "When words fail, music speaks."

Julie Hussar
"The outpouring of encouragement is all that I need." -- Julie Hussar

Julie Hussar wears vintage clothing when she performs on her hammered dulcimer.

Admittedly a woman of few words, Hussar is hoping that the collection of instrumental pieces on her latest CD, "Garden Song," speak more loudly than ever before, sending a powerful message. A message of hope.

"Garden Song," Hussar's fourth recording, will be dedicated to family members and those in the community who have died from or are living with or beyond their battle with breast cancer, and all proceeds from the disc will go to breast cancer research at the University of Michigan Cancer Center.

Hussar, who lost a cousin, aunt and grandmother to breast cancer, had intended to release "Garden Song" solely in their memory. But when Hussar, who can also be seen playing the Celtic harp when she performs -- usually wearing items from her vintage clothing collection -- heard about a Pennsylvania woman who had dedicated two music releases to breast cancer victims, she decided to do something more special for "Garden Song."

"I was just going to dedicate it to people I knew, but then I thought, "Why not open it up to people and let them make a dedication?" Hussar says. "I really wanted to show the impact breast cancer has just in our own area, because when you multiply that by how many people there are in the U.S., you get some idea of how many (the disease) is affecting.

"I've found that the number of memorials is equal to the survivors, and I've found that to be encouraging," she says. "The people who've called have been so appreciative. The outpouring of encouragement is all that I need."

"Most of the music on ("Garden Song") is very contemplative music," Hussar says. "It's music designed to promote a sense of healing. Dulcimer itself means "sweet music," and that's exactly what it makes. I want to show that there's hope, that there's people who care."

Adapted from an article by James Chesna of The Flint Journal

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