Healing Modes: An Interactive Dialogue

Bios & Resources

Sat, Feb 5, 2022
Hoyt Sherman Place

“The interconnection of music and healthfulness could not possibly be more  relevant or necessary than it is currently.”  – The New Yorker

About the Participants

Andrew Nish, MD

Dr. Nish graduated from Carleton College in 1981 and then pursued his medical degree at the Chicago Medical School. Following graduation from medical school he completed a 4-year residency in Diagnostic Radiology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. Following residency, he completed a 1-year fellowship at Henry Ford Hospital in Interventional Radiology.

Following his fellowship, he moved to Des Moines and began a 27-year career as an Interventional Radiologist at Iowa Methodist Hospital. During that time, he introduced many new procedures to the medical center including peripheral arterial stents, transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunts, chemo and radioembolization of liver tumors and microwave ablation of tumors in many locations. Despite his successful career he became restless and began to question the care model of traditional western style medicine. A retrospective analysis of his 27-year career revealed the fact that patient health was not getting better and that the traditional care model was failing patients and their families. With this new insight he began to study nutrition, stress, exercise, life purpose, socialization and sleep as it related to health and wellness. He went on to enroll in a 2-year fellowship at the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, completing his studies in October of 2018.

Currently Dr. Nish is the medical director of the John Stoddard Cancer Center in Des Moines. His passion is to educate the public and health care workers about true health and well-being and how this can be achieved through lifestyle changes including: food and nutrition, stress management, sleep, exercise, purpose in life and social relationships. He is especially fascinated with the mind-body connection and how our thoughts and beliefs directly influence our physical and mental health.

Richard Deming, MD

Richard L. Deming, MD is Medical Director of MercyOne Cancer Center in Des Moines, Iowa. He received a bachelor’s degree from South Dakota State University and his medical degree from Creighton University. Dr. Deming is known in the community for the compassionate care he provides cancer patients and their families. He is involved in many national, state, and community organizations and is the recipient of numerous awards. He was awarded the Lane Adams Award by the American Cancer Society for excellence and compassion in patient care. He is the recipient of “the one hundred” Award by Massachusetts General Hospital for his work with cancer survivors. He was awarded the Iowa Cancer Champion Award for his tireless efforts in the field of advocacy. He received the Iowa Star Award from the Des Moines Register for making a measurable difference within the community and improving the quality of life for Iowans everywhere. He was awarded the St. George National Medal by the American Cancer Society for leadership in reducing the burden of cancer.

Dr. Deming is also the founder of Above + Beyond Cancer, a nonprofit organization dedicated to elevating the lives of those touched by cancer. Dr. Deming has led cancer survivors on medical missions and inspirational mind-body-spirit pilgrimages to Mount Everest, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Machu Picchu. He is inspired by the courage and compassion of his patients and their families. His greatest ambition is to encourage others to pursue lives of meaning, purpose, passion, and compassion.

Brooklyn Rider

Brooklyn Rider, Musicians

Brooklyn Rider has carved a singular space in the world of string quartets over their fifteen-year history. Defining the string quartet as a medium with deep historic roots and endless possibility for invention, they find equal inspiration in musical languages ranging from late Beethoven to Persian classical music to American roots music to the endlessly varied voices of living composers. Shared at the height of the US lockdown, the Grammy®-nominated recording Healing Modes (In A Circle Records) presented Beethoven’s towering Opus 132 — the composer’s late testament on healing and the restorative power of new creation — interwoven with five new commissions powerfully exploring topics as wide-ranging as the US-Mexico border conflict, the Syrian refugee crisis, the mental health epidemic, and physical well-being.

Bob Schleeter

Bob Schleeter represents a healthy balance of formal musical education and real-world experiences. Holding degrees from the University of Iowa and Berklee College of Music, he credits fifty years of live gigs (as a guitarist in a wide range of musical styles), alongside forty years of musical co-creating, and thirty years of teaching and mentoring young, brilliant musicians, with shaping his artistic sensibilities. A life-long student of the art, he has traveled, studied, and absorbed music throughout the U.S. as well as in Brazil, Cuba, Spain, and Greece.

A native Iowan and inductee into the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Bob left as the winter of 1983 approached. He returned as the pandemic unfolded, having spent most of his adult life in California, Boston, and New Orleans. These days Bob’s primary music love centers around composition (along with long-time collaborator Ricardo Pitts-Wiley), arranging and orchestration, production, and the arduous task of notating an ambitious, timely, and exciting work of modern musical theater called Trains and Dreams.

Kelli Rae Powell, tLMHC, LCAT, MT-BC

Kelli is a TLMHC in the state of Iowa, a licensed creative art therapist (LCAT) in the state of New York and a nationally certified music therapist (MT-BC). Kelli is a vocalist and songwriter and is particularly interested in using music therapy interventions with EMDR to heal clients with trauma, therapeutic songwriting for treating depression and anxiety, as well as therapeutic instrument instruction on the ukulele and music assisted relaxation (MAR).

In the fall of 2015, Kelli developed the first music therapy program at Blank Children’s Hospital (BCH). Kelli continues to practice music therapy at Blank Children's Hospital (BCH) and John Stoddard Cancer Center (JSCC) where Kelli expanded music therapy services to include adult oncology inpatients in January of 2020. At BCH and JSCC, Kelli provides music therapy services for patients, their families and caregivers. Kelli practices counseling with EMDR & Beyond in West Des Moines, IA.

Kelli is a graduate of the prestigious music therapy masters program at New York University. During her training, Kelli completed her fieldwork at Bellevue Hospital in New York, NY, with adult psychiatric inpatients and at Heartsong, a creative arts therapy program for children with special needs in Yonkers, NY. Kelli completed her music therapy internship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY, specializing in music therapy services for children and adults in palliative and end of life care. Kelli earned her license to practice creative arts therapy in New York (LCAT) while working as a music therapist at Mount Sinai’s Kravis Children’s Hospital in New York, NY.

Originally from Ankeny, Iowa, Kelli returned to Ankeny from Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and two children in the summer of 2015. In her free time, Kelli leads an Iowa-based folk band that performs her original music internationally.

Deb Jennings

Deb Jennings has studied and played music since age five. She plays piano, organ, keyboards, Native American flutes, percussion instruments, crystal and alchemy and Himalayan singing bowls and bells, gongs, tuning forks, and metallophone. She has studied Sound Healing with Jonathon Goldman, Wayne Perry and Buddhist monks in Tibet, China and India. She has studied toning and chanting with several different teachers, and in several traditions (Buddhist, Hindu, Sufi, Native American, Christian). She has studied gongs and taken master classes with Dr. Mitch Nur, Michele Michener, Mike Tamburo, Sheila Whittaker, Michael Bettine, and Thomas Orr Anderson. She served in Unity of Omaha, Nebraska and then Unity Center of Des Moines, Iowa's Music Departments for many years and has held weekly sound meditations at Unity Center of Des Moines since 2012. She offers sound meditations, drum circles and Explore Sound Healing groups in the community, teaches workshops and classes, offers private and group sound healing sessions, offers support groups, plays for yoga sessions, church services, celebration of life services, weddings, baby blessings, and offers home energy clearings and home and business blessing ceremonies. She does angel card and Rumi Oracle Card readings.

Deb has been a Cacao Practitioner with Keith’s Cacao for 5 years and offers private and group cacao ceremonies, both online and in person. Deb traveled to Guatamala in March of 2020 to offer a presentation on Sound Healing and Cacao at Keith's Homecoming 2020 and do studies and training with Keith Wilson of Keith’s Cacao, and continues to take trainings and global ceremonies online with Keith and his staff. She has also presented online to Keith's Cacao practitioners on Sound Healing and Cacao in a panel format as well as hosting online Global Cacao Ceremony for her fellow Keith's Cacao Practitioners.

During the pandemic, she began sharing her offerings online and continues to do so, while also offering live group events at Unity Center of Des Moines at least 6 times per month, and offers private sound sessions and private cacao ceremonies with sound weekly at Unity as well.

Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Creighton University, cum laude), a Juris Doctorate in Law (Creighton University, cum laude) and she is trained in Usui Reiki, as a Master Practitioner and has offered reiki to people for over 20 years.

Deb's passion is to assist people to vibrate in unconditional love and gratitude and to transcend external circumstances to connect with their own inner peace, joy and love as well as helping them access and share their unique gifts with the world so they may live fulfilling lives in service to humanity.

Judy Olson

Judy Olson is an author, artist, and healer. She retired after nearly forty years as a high school English teacher and debate coach. Now, Judy focuses her attention on writing, creating, and healing. For Judy, music and sound are healing arts that she combines with other modalities. She is a Reiki Master Teacher also trained in Healing Touch, Quantum Touch, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and Spiritual Response Therapy (SRT). She leads drumming circles, augmented with Native American flute music, intended for celebration and for healing. She leads meditation groups and writes meditations. She incorporates all she does into full-blown healing ceremonies for individuals or a group. She shares the gift of the Native American flute, the most treasured part of her repertoire, every time an opportunity arises. Judy loves, music, literature, people, and space.


Above and Beyond Cancer

American Music Therapy Association

Iowa Chapter of Music Therapy

Sounds for the Soul” by Deb Jennings, contact directly by email or phone (515-371-0725)

A sampling of music organizations in the Des Moines metro

Civic Music Association: Live music throughout the year including regular jazz and classical concerts, plus the region’s sole professionally-managed string quartet, the Belin Quartet, which provides free summertime concerts at the Salisbury House & Gardens.

Des Moines Metro Opera: One of the nation’s most renowned producing opera companies, with year-round programming and summer festival season.

Des Moines Performing Arts: This presenting arts organization features Broadway touring productions, lectures, educational events, concerts and more.

Des Moines Symphony: Live symphonic music with regular Masterworks & Pops concerts at the Des Moines Civic Center, Waterworks Park and the Iowa State Capitol.

Des Moines Choral Society: A volunteer choir performing throughout the Des Moines metro.

Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus: A men’s choir of 40-50 singers that perform throughout the Des Moines metro.

Des Moines Vocal Arts Ensemble: A high-quality choral ensemble with performances throughout the Des Moines metro.

Drake University: Student and faculty performances on the Drake campus throughout the year.

Hoyt Sherman Place: Live performances including music, dance, comedy and more throughout the year at this presenting venue.

Noce Jazz Club: Noce is the premier home for jazz & cabaret in Des Moines, Iowa, hosting acts both local & national & featuring a world-class cocktail bar.

xBk Live: A destination venue for local and national performers seeking an intimate setting. Dedicated to presenting compelling programming, xBk performances will stick with you well after you’ve left the building.

Local music education options

Arrow Academy of Music: Group piano for kids

Central Iowa Music Lab: Lessons are available to all ages and levels, and no prior experience or auditions are required. Instruction is available for virtually any musical instrument or voice as well as classes in music theory, songwriting, and more.

Des Moines Symphony Academy: The Des Moines Symphony Academy aims to provide the very best music education experiences for musicians of all ages.

Drake University Community School of Music: DUCSOM and its faculty strive to awaken and nurture our students’ musical talent. They teach students of all ages—from three year-olds to senior citizens—and of all levels—from beginners to professionals.

Mobile Music LessonsProvides high-quality, personalized and convenient music education experiences where you want them: in your home, educational institute and more.

School of Rock: A music school for all skill levels, ages, and musical aspirations. With students ranging from toddlers to adults, School of Rock is where music students grow into real musicians.

Sounding Sharp Studio: Offers music lessons in the comfort and convenience of your home. With a variety of teachers, they strive to pair each student with a teacher that best suits their lifestyle and personality.