Gold Medal Giver: Winston Hall

By Jade Cunningham |

Published 08/04 2014 05:42AM

Updated 08/04 2014 05:54AM

Volunteering can mean sharing a passion with others.

Even if it means performing for an unusual crowd.

Winston Hall has been playing music his whole life.

However, about five years ago, he began sharing his passion with others.

"It started with an ad online I saw that I didn't believe could possibly be true," said Hall. "So, I messaged them and they said, 'Yes, this is real'."

It was a volunteer opportunity Hall couldn't pass up.

"As a musician who has entertained a lot of people in my life, it's a fascinating idea," said Hall. "I didn't know what to expect."

Hall plays music at Chimp Haven.

"Chimps in the wild encounter a variety of sights and sounds and since we don't have that here, we try and provide it," said Enrichment Specialist at Chimp Haven, Leilani Case. "One of the ways we do that is through music, especially live performances. The chimps really respond well to the people."

"Some of the chimps will stand-off, make noise, and throw stuff. Some will start moving and rocking back and forth and you know, good or bad, they're reacting to it," said Hall.

The experience has struck a chord in Hall, teaching him lessons about the furry friends.

"Music is a universal language," Hall said. "If you can't speak the same language as somebody, you can maybe play the same song or hum a tune. So when the chimps start reacting to me, that expands that idea further, that music really is universal. And they know something's up when you're strumming and having a good time, they sense that."

When asked how long he'll play for the chimps, he says as long as he can.

"I guess until the chimps complain or ask for a new act, but until then, I'll keep coming back," Hall said.

Which is why this week's Gold Medal Giver is Winston Hall.

Hall performs at other places here in town.

You can follow him on Facebook or his website.

If you'd like more information on Chimp Haven (which is always looking for volunteers), you can go here.

You can nominate a Gold Medal Giver by sending the name of the person and where they volunteer to NBC 6's Jade Cunningham, at

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