Christina Nordstrom is a writer, editor and singer-songwriter. Prior to retiring from her career as a public health professional, by way of avocation, she drew from the many facets of her life to create inspired lyrics and musical education programs, and also produced several non-fiction book projects.
From a young age, singing in a choir or school chorus was a way of life. As a young teen she was inspired by the folk music of the 50's and 60's – not just for the music itself, but for the way the songwriters were able to share stories or challenging messages. She taught herself to play the acoustic guitar, and was soon performing as a solo artist on guitar or together with other folk musicians. Later in her life she joined forces – and in friendship – with Ted Mello, Ric Bailey, Michelle Glidden and Bruce Joy to create what she refers to as the “eclectic” folk group, Earth Harmony – eclectic because they all came from a variety of, and very complementary musical backgrounds.
For over a decade the group played songs from the traditional folk genre for community-sponsored programs (e.g., South Shore Natural Science Center, “Kids’ Days” at Whole Foods Market, the Marshfield Fair, “America’s Home Town” Celebration in Plymouth and the annual “Festival of Trees” sponsored by Cranberry Hospice), coffee houses and fund-raising events. A major focus of the group came to be their music ministry, playing for South Shore (of Boston) and Greater Boston area church worship services and special events.
Christina’s songwriting began as an adult, crafting original tunes that include such themes as social justice, peace-making, finding one’s place in the world, the joys (and challenges) of parenting, the lighter side of aging, and finding humor in everyday life. Combining her talent for singing and songwriting with her experience in health education, she created an innovative musical health education program to help children learn and remember important health and safety messages. Once called “a singing preacher” by Rev. James Forbes, former senior pastor of the Riverside Church in New York City, many of her original songs also attempt to provide a retelling of Biblical stories and scripture, as well as explore life’s spiritual connections.
In retirement she values being able to spend more time with family as a grandmother, as well as the time to work on new writing and music projects. She is a music volunteer with Norwell, MA, VNA’s Hospice House providing bedside singing. Christina and Ted Mello, a member of the Earth Harmony group, playing upright bass and providing back-up vocals, also play a musical mix of traditional standards and folk styles for senior audiences and for area “Memory Cafes,” as well as in the Senior Behavioral Health Unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Plymouth Hospital as volunteers.
In her professional career as a health education program specialist, she created John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company’s first corporate employee wellness program, for which the company received recognition by Better Health and Living Magazine as one of the “25 Healthiest Companies to Work For.” Later, while serving as Jordan Hospital’s (now Beth Israel Deaconess Plymouth Hospital) Director of Community Health Education, her work included conceptualizing and writing state and federal grants for public health programs. The hospital also received the “Blue Ribbon Award for Innovations in Health Programming” from the New England Health Care Assembly for her creation of the Home Alone Safety for Kids program, and the “Massachusetts Cable TV Association Award in Health Programming” for Working with Your Emergency Medical Service.
Before retiring from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in Boston in 2016, she contributed to the research, writing and/or editing of public health program documents and federal grants, and directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Prevention Program grant for the state, a major focus of which was the development the Massachusetts’ School Nutrition Regulations and overseeing the “MA Children at Play” childcare nutrition and physical activity initiative.
A life-long learner, as an adult she attended North Shore Community College (Beverly, MA) receiving an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration; and the University of Massachusetts (Boston) where she received both her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services Management, from the College of Public and Community Service, and a Master’s Degree and the College’s Award for Excellence in Instructional Design from the Graduate College of Education.