This is a thank you note

Thanksgiving was last week and as I sat down to think of how Link 2 Lee's Summit has evolved in the past year, I couldn't help but think of a young musician I heard sing for the Lee's Summit Arts Council. One little song, accompanied by a little ukulele and a big voice added a whole new dimension to the mission of telling our local stories. So, what am I thankful for in 2017. I'm thankful for the people who make Lee's Summit the place I call home. And specifically, I'm thankful for the chance to meet this local musician who started the Community Voices podcast... This is Jenell Johnson.

When her grandmother passed away and Jenell Johnson noticed her family was down, she turned to the one therapy she knew worked for all of them — music.

The song, "Smile," would go on to be a favorite of not only her family, but also friends and her tight-knit school and church family as well. It would also be a crowd favorite at the 2016 Lee's Summit Got Talent competition.

Music has been at the center of the Johnson home since before she was born. Her parents, Alex and Jerilyn are both musicians who find themselves singing or playing instruments at every opportunity. But love of music was just a genetic passing to Jenell and her two siblings, Jessica and Justin, it was a purposeful and physical effort made from the very beginning.

Jenell, who plays nearly 10 instruments, sings and composes her own music, said some of her earliest memories are of her father playing the piano each night with the family gathered around and singing along.

"We did that every night," she said. "Music is just a part of who we are. My dad was always on the piano and we just all gathered around and joined in."

Community Voices is a weekly podcast celebrating the individuals who make our community. Catch the show each Monday on this site, Stitcher, or subscribe to Community Voices on iTunesGooglePlay or your favorite podcast app.

Do you have interesting story? Does your neighbor, teacher, classmate, or friend? Let us know about it. Connect with host Nick Parker through e-mailFacebookTwitter or Instagram.

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