SacredFlight’s Music-Thanatologists and Board of Directors


Board of Directors

Barbara Cabot, CM-Th, holds a bachelor’s degree in History and English from Russell Sage College in Troy, New York. Prior to becoming a music-thanatologist, she worked in banking as an internal operations and IT auditor. Barbara has been a choral singer since grade school, most recently with Aurora Chorus in Portland. She also studied piano and theory as a child. In 1996, Barbara learned about music-thanatology on ABC Nightline, and went to Montana to attend the Chalice of Repose Project’s School of Music-Thanatology. Barbara is a co-founder and the Business Manager of SacredFlight, a member of and former Treasurer for the professional association, Music-Thanatology Association International, and is actively involved in the Music-Thanatology Training Program at Lane Community College. :: E-mail Barbara

Sharilyn Cohn, CM-Th, graduated with degrees in Music Performance and Music Education from the University of Memphis. She was a professional cellist in Memphis and Atlanta, performing with several orchestras, on soundtracks and on special performance engagements with such artists as George Benson, Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., Bob Hope, and Frank Sinatra. Sharilyn taught in private studio and public classroom settings and served as an adjudicator and conductor. She learned about music-thanatology watching an ABC Nightline program and in 1998 moved to Montana for two years to learn her new vocation. Sharilyn is the executive director and co-founder of SacredFlight. She has served as vice-president, conference chair, and on several committees for Music-Thanatology Association International where she helped establish the standards and competencies for certification. Sharilyn has offered presentations on music-thanatology at conferences nationwide and is co-founder and core faculty of the Lane Community College Music-Thanatology Training Program. :: E-mail Sharilyn

Judith (Judi) Julien, M-Th, PsyD holds a BA in Music from the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, and a PsyD in Clinical Psychology from Pacific University. She worked for many years as a neuropsychologist before recently retiring. Judi has been a musician from birth, growing up in a musical family. She has worked in the field of liturgical music, has taught voice and directed musical groups most of her life. She is also an energy healer and meditative retreat facilitator. Her passions include music, meditation, spiritual/emotional health of all and embracing life to the fullest at all levels. Judi recently graduated from the Lane Community College Music-Thanatology Training Program and is delighted to be associated with SacredFlight in its healing mission. She is deeply grateful that her professional association with SacredFlight embodies all of her passions and is honored to be a part of this life-giving work.

Kieran Schnabel, CM-Th, holds a bachelor's degree in Music from the University of Oregon. For the last couple of years he has been providing therapeutic music at the bedside of critically and terminally ill children and teens. Kieran is a multi-instrumentalist who first began musical studies with the piano at age 5. After completing his vocal performance studies at the University of Oregon, Kieran went in search of a meaningful way to utilize music beyond stage performance. In music-thanatology Kieran found a depth of purpose and went on to attend the Music-Thanatology Training Program at Lane Community College. He graduated in 2011 and has become a certified professional member of the Music-Thanatology Association International.

Joshua Ward, M-Th. Growing up in Ohio, Joshua studied classical harp with longtime principle harpist of the Toledo Symphony, Nancy Lendrim. Joshua was the principal harpist for the Toledo Youth Orchestra for several years before exploring different musical outlets within the community. During this time he worked with many different music, visual, and performance based artists exposing Joshua to power of collaboration and improvisation. With his band, “The ’Leles,” Joshua offered music to children in the oncology unit at Toledo Hospital. After producing an album and embarking on several small tours, Joshua relocated to Portland, OR in 2012. Once he discovered the Lane Community College Music-Thanatology Training Program, he was thrilled to be able to utilize his skills as a harpist in the practical application of music and silence to comfort patients and families. Joshua graduated in 2015.

Board of Directors

Steve Brown is a career professional in banking with over 28 years in various management positions with US Bank. At US Bank he met Barbara Cabot and developed a lasting friendship and ultimately become interested in supporting Barbara, Sharilyn and SacredFlight. Since an earlier board experience with Habitat for Humanity in Modesto, CA, he has looked for another opportunity to service a meaningful organization. SacredFlight is that organization as it continues to offer the peace and solace of music for those at the end of life.

The Rev. Christine Dungan grew up in Portland and returned to Oregon in 2005 following an extended sojourn in the Northeast and South. She has a bachelor’s degree in Latin American history from the University of South Carolina-Aiken, a master of divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary and a master of arts in religion from Vanderbilt University. She is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Before attending seminary, Chris worked in public relations for the maritime and food industries. Chris presently serves as parish associate at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Portland, and she is past president and member of the board of the Oregon Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra. A long-time dog fancier, she is a member of the Collie Club of America. Chris was introduced to the work of music-thanatologists during the final illness of her father, and she is delighted to support and promote SacredFlight.

Scott Duyck is a life-long Oregonian with a degree in Business Administration from Oregon State University. While born and raised on a blueberry farm, he has worked for 20+ years in healthcare sales in products ranging from heart monitors, to respiratory care products, to newborn care products. Scott first became familiar with SacredFlight when they provided a harp vigil for his mother several years ago. It made a strong, positive impact on the end of life experience for Scott and his siblings, so much so that he decided to become more involved with SacredFlight to help more people in the community benefit from their spiritually uplifting mission.

Robert Hugo Richardson, MD retired in 2005 after 28 years with Northwest Kaiser Permanente. He had practiced Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine since 1968, was director of the Kaiser Permanente Northwest Regional Ethics Service and the inpatient palliative care service at Kaiser Sunnyside Hospital. In January 2006, Robert began working with OHSU to establish a program aimed at expanding bedside education in ethics and palliative care for future generations of health care professionals. Robert has found SacredFlight to be very helpful in alleviating severe pain and other symptoms in critically ill patients and feels that it has helped many of these patients in their journey to find spiritual and existential peace.

Jo Turner has had diverse jobs and careers—waitress, Municipal Court clerk, physician’s assistant, preschool head teacher. When her husband of 34 years became ill, she was caregiver and advocate for his journey through the healthcare system. After his death in 2004, Jo created an annual fundraising event in his name, raising money for SacredFlight and for an early-onset Alzheimer’s awareness fund. She recently returned to the work force as a dispatcher for a delivery service. Jo wholeheartedly supports the necessary, wonderful work SacredFlight does, having seen for herself how much peace and serenity these gifted musicians bring to others.