The Collective

Col•lec•tive (n) \kə-ˈlék-tiv (n.): “Parts assembled into or viewed as a whole”

Monday, December 19, 2016

Hi Everyone!   It's been a while since we've updated the Blog.   For the past 18 months, we've been working on our second CD: Home. Tonight. Forever.   It is a double CD collection of 17 original tunes composed by Tom Karl and Gil Wernovsky, inspired by our day jobs of taking care of children with heart disease, and related experiences.
We are releasing the double CD (actually, the hard copies will be available on 4GB USB cards) and on iTunes and Amazon at the beginning of February, just in time for Congenital Heart Disease week.   ALL PROCEEDS BENEFIT THE CHILDREN'S HEART FOUNDATION, a wonderful organization dedicated to funding important research in our field.  Please save the date, and check out the new material on line if you're not in the Philadelphia area.
Our first live performance in quite some time will take place at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia on Friday, February 3rd.  Our mp3s will be available at that time.
BBSC at World Cafe Live Feb 3, 2017
The following evening, Saturday Feb 4th, we will be performing at the Annual Sweet Hearts Ball put on by the Children's Heart Foundation - Pennsylvania Chapter, at Vie in Philadelphia.  Information for tickets is here: 2017 Sweet Hearts Ball
Our good friends The Rockets will also be performing!
Members of the BBSC are travelling from all around the globe, including: 
Horns/Winds - Dr. Tom Karl (St. Petersburg, FL), Dr. Joe Dearani (Mayo Clinic, MN), Dr. Emre Belli (Paris, France), Dr. Dick Donner (Cherry Hill, NJ), Dr. Beth Kaufman (Palo Alto, CA), Dr. Stu Berger (Chicago, IL), John Laughter (Macon, GA) and Adam Kleiner (Washington, DC)
Vocalists - Dr. Leo Lopez (Miami, FL), Dr. Lisa Hornberger (Edmonton, CA), Dr. Vanessa Madrigal (Washington, DC), Chloe Manchester RN (Philadelphia, PA) and Joey DiRocco (Philadelphia, PA)
Rhythm Section - Dr. Jeff Boris (Philadelphia, PA), Dr. Gil Wernovsky (Miami, FL), Dr. Jim Tweddell (Cincinnati, OH), Pete Macartney (Philadelphia), Craig Kahn (Los Angeles, CA) and Simon Wernovsky (Philadelphia, PA)

Finally, see some details of our song listings at Home. Tonight. Forever.   Mixed and engineered by our good friend Rich King at Philly Sound Studios

Gil and Tom for the BBSC!


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Who We Are

The Baby Blue Sound Collective is an ensemble featuring pediatric cardiologists, surgeons, nurses, therapists and other medical professionals from Children's Hospitals around the world. In their day jobs, most of the group takes care of children with heart disease; but most are also researchers, educators and lecturers. Past and present members hail from Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Great Britain, Japan, South Africa, France and Norway, as well as over 15 different cardiovascular programs in the USA. The members of BBSC have found each other through a mutual interest in providing medical and nursing care for children and their families, as well as a love of music and the performing arts.

The BBSC has performed at many of the pediatric cardiology and cardiac surgery medical conferences throughout the USA and Europe. The personnel are different for each and every performance, depending upon the location of the particular meeting and the performers who are on the course faculty or attending the meeting (see history). Performances have contained as few as three and as many as 30 members. The set lists and genres are then chosen based upon the composition of ‘the collective” and are as diverse as the members, including classical, jazz, pop, musical theater, blues and rock.

Music, Health Care and Advocacy for Congenital Heart Disease

Gil Wernovsky MD, Jeffrey Boris MD and Tom Karl MD organize the Collective, and together work with charities and patient groups that benefit children and young adults with heart disease. Congenital Heart Disease affects 1 in 100 children, is the leading cause of death from birth defects in infants, and is more common than juvenile diabetes, cystic fibrosis and all forms of childhood cancer—combined. Over 11,000 children under one year of age require open heart surgery in the US alone, many of whom must stay in a hospital setting for weeks to months.

One of the missions of the BBSC is to support the children and their families in a “holistic” fashion. In addition to performing open heart surgery and other high-tech and intense treatments in our ‘day jobs’; we support grass roots organizations who provide aid and support to families going through the toughest times of their lives. Originally inspired by the efforts of Mona and Seth Barmash from The Congenital Heart Information Network ( and Spencer’s Fund (, proceeds from our recorded music and performances will directly benefit important efforts not traditionally covered by medical bills: social services, care packages, child life, financial assistance for families far from home, and important therapies for hospitalized children (including music!).

While great strides have been made in caring for children with heart problems, many of which were fatal just 1-2 generations ago, there remain many questions about longer term outcomes. How will the children fare as they go through school? What are the challenges they will face? What are their strengths, and how may these be improved? The BBSC remains committed to helping to answer these questions: by tirelessly pursuing improved treatments in our ‘day jobs’, and by using our musical resources and international networking to support research aimed at improving quality of life for children and young adults with CHD.