VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach resident is using her love of music to inspire other residents.
77-year-old Sherry Hatfield says her earliest memory of singing is at 4 years old.
She was attending a picnic with her father, when she was requested to sing. Hatfield says she told the piano man to play a popular Bing Crosby song.
“The accompanist chimed in with his jazzy chords. It threw me off and I stopped and said “He’s not playing this right!” she said.
Hatfield went on to perform many more times, including on the Joe Brown Radio Show and at churches throughout the area.
She now lives at First Colonial Inn and performs for the residents there.
“They seem so appreciative. They’re just so grateful and the people here are so kind and good,” she said.
But what makes Hatfield different than others is her disability.
“I was born legally and almost totally blind,” she said.
Hatfield says when she was younger, she could see bright colors and faces but not features. That eventually went away and she now only has light perception.
That did not stop her from pursing her dream of music.
“I believe you can do whatever you want to do in life if you set your mind to it,” she said.
Hatfield’s current accompanist is also blind.
She’s even written a book, “A Place In the Choir,” about her experiences, and remembers her two favorite visual sites as the sunset on the Chesapeake Bay and her grandfather’s shining bald head at dinner.
Hatfield says despite her blindness, she has many joys in her life, her daughter and grandson, and encourages others to also live their passions.
“Find what you love and do it. That’s how I see love. Find what you love to do,” she said.