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Published on May 25, 2021

Playing It Forward

After shoulder and arm surgery, a violinist plays for staff.


Imagine being a professional violinist and needing shoulder surgery. That scary situation faced Sarah Womack. She put it off, but eventually realized she needed surgery to keep doing what she loved. Womack had the surgery, and after hard work in physical therapy, decided to show her caregivers at Cone Health she hasn’t missed a note.  

Womack and a couple of friends visited Cone Health OrthoCare Greensboro. They serenaded staff with a noon concert in the clinic's lobby for about 30 minutes. Womack brought along professional musicians Gayle Masarie (cello) and Carter Bradley (viola) to help say “thank you.” “We’re rewarding the people who saved my arm, and now I can continue to play the violin.” 

Womack has been playing the violin since she was 10 years old. Over the years she has played in several local and regional orchestras. She did show work in Atlanta working with artists including Tony Bennett, John Denver and Michael Jackson. 

Womack and Masarie were in a car accident in December 2019 in Salisbury. Womack had surgery on her arm and shoulder and required extensive physical therapy. “I’m excited to hear her play and to see her return to her regular function. That’s what we work for in all these patients,” says one of Womack’s physical therapists, Stephanie Matthews. 

“What a nice thing for them to do,” says surgeon Peter Whitfield who enjoyed seeing her return to form. “Something she couldn’t do before; she couldn’t get her arm up enough to play the violin.”

The mini concert was a celebration featuring a playlist including Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy," Louis Armstrong’s, “What a Wonderful World” and ending with a rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Cone Heath OrthoCare - Greensboro, NC | Cone Health