With a song in her heart, Litchfield woman ministers to those in needAPRIL GUILMET
Union Leader Correspondent
July 24. 2013 6:40PM
LONDONDERRY|— It was a typical morning for Nancy Recco, other than the fact that she awoke with a lingering song in her head.
Making her way down the stairs at her Litchfield home, the schoolteacher soon found herself seated in front of the family piano — the same one her parents had bought her when she was 10 but seldom played.
Realizing she had a knack for spiritual songwriting, Recco shared her newly penned tunes with a friend, who offered further encouragement. Soon after, she purchased a keyboard at the local Sam’s Club and began recording her songs.
“I played my songs during one of my church meetings and ended up getting a standing ovation,” Recco recalled. “That kind of started this whole thing.”
Now a full-time singer, songwriter and author, Recco has made it her mission to minister to those in need through her gentle soprano.
Having founded the nonprofit organization Gems of God, she’s served as a speaker for the international women’s ministry Stonecroft, as well as an active member of the Prison Fellowship, where she spreads a positive message to inmates and their families.
Her first time visiting the Massachusetts Correctional Institution Cedar Junction, a maximum security prison in Walpole, Mass., was a bit daunting.
“The chaplain took one look at me and shook his head,” Recco recalled with a laugh. “He said it was the first time in a decade that a new volunteer was given security clearance.”
Recco was determined.
“Every one of us has gone through some type of storm in their lives,” she said. “The goal is to get through it all.”
Recco’s latest CD, “From Storm to Serenity,” shares her personal struggles and the strong faith in God that led her through a very turbulent storm in her own life.
In 2005, Recco’s marriage abruptly ended after 27 years. “For a while, the music just kind of stopped,” she said.
Just last year, while attending a healing service with the Rev. Ralph DiOrio, Apostolate of Divine Mercy and Healing Ministry, Recco was led back toward the keyboard when the priest approached her, asking her if she’d consider singing with his ministry.
“Before I knew it, I was back in the recording studio,” she said. “It sort of felt like my life had been on pause, but Father Ralph hit the reset button.”
These days, there’s no such thing as a typical day in the life of Nancy Recco.
She’s visited prisons, nursing homes and homeless shelters, and also recorded a song to benefit the Maine Special Olympics – basically anywhere she feels a calling.
A Catholic by faith, Recco said she’s happy to spread that message to people of all religious backgrounds, noting the universal spiritual themes explored in her music.
“My goal is a simple one — to help people in need,” she said.
Recco will perform at a free concert at St. Jude’s Catholic Church in Londonderry on Sunday, Aug. 11.
The concert, held at 435 Mammoth Road, will begin at 6 p.m. and is appropriate for music lovers of all ages.
Copies of Recco’s latest CD will be available for purchase following the show, with all proceeds to benefit St. Jude’s community charity projects.
For more information visit www.nancyrecco.com.