Sounds of giving back
Published with The Stockton Record
On the evening before Mother’s Day, music echoed across North Lake in Lincoln Village West in Stockton. Neighbors pulled up in their motorboats, paddleboats or inner tubes to the backyard of Dan and Peggy Massey MacDonnell, who hosted a concert on the manmade lake.
Dan MacDonnell, a Stockton musician, has sung and played guitar at many local venues since the late 1970s.
“I headed the Islander at one point, the Hatch Cover, every venue around town,” he said. “Then I moved out of the country.”
MacDonnell bought a catamaran charter business on the island of Saipan in Micronesia. There he got the nickname Captain Dan, a name that lives today in his musical group, the Capt. Dan Band.
“When I was living in Asia, I became an executive director of resorts in Saipan, Guam, Phuket, Bali. We had offices in Japan,” MacDonnell said. “Everywhere I went, I would do side gigs and still play.”
Ever since they’ve lived on North Lake, the MacDonnells have wanted to have a concert on the lake.
“We wanted to do it when nothing was going on in the world, like this pandemic, and we just thought this is the most wonderful time to do it,” Peggy MacDonnell said. “All of our neighbors are just thrilled to get out and look forward to something.”
The MacDonnells hand-delivered flyers to all 71 residents around the lake to invite them to their COVID-19 Relief Concert.
“This will be a good opportunity for our neighbors and friends and an opportunity for me to be not so rusty and keep my chops,” Dan MacDonnell said with a laugh. “Now with the COVID-19 and everyone’s locked up in their houses, I thought this is the perfect opportune time.”
Around the lake, neighbors lounged on their decks, in their backyards or on boats, kayaks and inner tubes anchored behind the MacDonnells’ property to listen to him play guitar and sing in his gazebo.
Music has been a part of MacDonnell’s life for a long time. After getting a guitar for his eighth-grade graduation and teaching himself how to play, he formed his first band as a freshman in high school. Ever since, through his many careers and making a family with Peggy, he has found music to be a stress reliever.
“I would go and I would perform at a club, and everything just melted away,” MacDonnell said. “And it’s like, ‘Oh, my God, it just fills the soul.’ I think that’s what we need right now.”
Before the stay-at-home orders, MacDonnell was singing to the residents where Peggy works, Somerford Place Memory Care, as well as the retirement community of Rio Las Palmas, both in Stockton.
“He just started for like three months, then this happened, but he’ll go back and do it,” she said.
Even though MacDonnell has been a musician for many years, he said he still finds himself nervous every time before he plays.
“It’s very important to me,” he said. “I want to give to everybody. I want to share this, and, hopefully, I can spill some good and joy across this lake today.”
No comments posted.
Recent PostsSacramento activist advocates for gun safety Food insecurity: a part of life for some students at City College City College athlete still applying best speed, despite cancellation of baseball season Panthers football coach tackles journalism with his middle school classroom Sounds of giving back Protesters march against child trafficking Day of the Dead article