July 5, 2017 | Employees gathered June 30 to share their talents during The Dog Days of Summer one final time with Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D. before his retirement in July. He, in return, kicked off the summer talent show with a trio of musical treats at noon Friday in the Hospital Lobby Gallery
Rahn, who’s become known for his piano performances at Arts of UAMS events, gifted his fellow employees with a fond farewell via a black baby grand piano.
George Hull, UAMS’ chaplain, served as master of ceremonies. He introduced each performer, offering light-hearted jokes and tidbits with a slant toward retirement, beginning with a parody of the tune “My Favorite Things.”
Rahn’s performances included “As Time Goes By” a tune from one of his favorite movies Casablanca and “Funny How Time Slips Away.” More than 100 employees, including the chancellor’s wife, Lana, gathered for the mid-day music and a festive picnic-style lunch of oversized hot dogs, chips, and cookies.
After the chancellor’s performance the show went to the dogs, much to the audience’s delight and thanks to Pet Partners therapy animals. Scully, an endearing golden doodle, who often visits UAMS patients, stole the show early with his eager looks toward the crowd for applause. He entertained the appreciative audience and his tricks with his handler Katie Kasten, included jumping through a hoop held by Pam de Gravelles of the College of Nursing, a volunteer assistant recruited from the audience.
The music continued as Karlene Case of Labor & Delivery, dressed in patriotic attire, sang a heartfelt “God Bless the USA.”
Heart of the Rock, featuring Kendra Henderson of Parking Operations, was next to perform. The group of eight women, comprised of several members of the Little Rock-based Top of the Rock women’s choral group, performed “Come in From the Rain” and “When I’m Gone” to much applause. They concluded with a tribute to the Rahns – “May the Road Rise up To Meet You.”
In a nod to the chancellor’s farewell address, the next performers, Steve Boone & Friends featuring Marcus Murphy of Academic Affairs, and Linda Thompson from Reynolds Center on Aging, treated those gathered to “Forever Young” written by Bob Dylan.
Englishman Luke Johnson of IT Classroom Technologies took to the piano to play and sing David Bowie’s “Changes.”
Others performing included guitarist Anthony Costello of Campus Operations performing an original composition. Murphy returned to the spotlight and piano, this time solo, to entrance the audience with his show-stopping performance of George Gershwin’s “Summertime.”
The gathering began winding down with the arrival and performance of another enchanting four-legged friend from Pet Partners, Winston and his trainer Margaret Strickland.
The show concluded with a touching presentation of Melisa Clark, of Office of Research Regulatory Affairs, singing an adaptation of “So Long, Farewell” from Rogers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music. As she sang, an emotion-filled video played of numerous employees from countless departments, waving to and saying good-bye to Rahn, much to his delight.