One year ago, William-sport musician Walter Scott Schell wrote "There is Hope," the title track of his latest album, just hours before undergoing a life-saving kidney transplant.
The album is Schell's fifth and it includes 10 inspirational tracks that he hopes will provide others with encouragement during difficult times.
Schell said he vowed to pursue his music career despite struggling with his illness. He would pass the time while on dialysis, writing songs that reflected the courage and kindness in those around him - family, friends and medical professionals - all who gave him hope to keep pushing on.
Williamsport musician W. Scott Schell has released his fifth album, “There is Hope.” He wrote the title track only hours before undergoing a life-saving kidney transplant last year.
"You become very spiritually connected, you really do a lot of soul-searching," Schell said. "So sometimes the music is very much related to what you are feeling."
Schell recorded the album in a studio he created inside of his Williamsport home.
"I did all of the writing and recording," he said. "Kenny Wittman, a friend of mine, played the bass with me on the one song, but other than that, I basically recorded all the music myself and produced it myself."
Schell said he really took his time with his album - a year and a half, which was more time than he spent on his previous four albums. He said he recorded the tracks several times and worked on his vocals to make sure everything was just right. The album is not just for one group of people, it is for a more diverse audience, he said.
"I think there is always a purpose to writing songs when you can touch other people with your songs in some way," Schell said. "Music is something we listen to that makes us feel different ways at different times and that is true about my music. It isn't all the same style and I think it all kind of works together."
Most things in Schell's life all come back to his love of making music. He gives private music lessons, teaching guitar, violin and piano, and also likes to tune and repair instruments in his spare time.
He learned how to tune and repair instruments many years ago from a blind man, who Schell then taught to play the guitar by using Braille.
He also performs at nursing homes, including a performance at the Williamsport Home every two weeks, and offers music therapy to disadvantaged children.
Schell always is working on something new and said, "You can't squelch inspiration when it comes to you, you've got to write it down."
He believes that songwriting is an important gift and encourages those who have the ability to write songs to keep writing and putting poetry to music.
Schell also deeply believes in the importance of being or becoming an organ donor - without whom, Schell's life may have been lost.
"All you have to do to be a donor is put it on your license and you could help save somebody's life ... one person could make a difference in eight people's lives," he said. "And in my song, the one about a donor, I felt that he helped other people fight their battle for life."
Schell will perform during First Friday festivities on May 4 at Otto Bookstore, where copies of his album also will be for sale.
Other places selling the album include: Divine Providence Gift Shop, Ed's Market, Lycoming Physical Therapy, Linden General Store and by contacting Schell at 323-6994.