I've been wanting to join a choir again for years because there's nothing quite like many voices blending together in harmony. Those are my roots, having been invited to join the children's choir at age 4 at the St. Paul Cathedral I grew up attending. From there, I was in concert choirs, caroling groups, musicals, bands, and vocal ensembles. But it's been 15 years since I performed in NYU's Drama Cantorum singing Carmina Burana, my last choir performance - far too long!
The Threshold singers are a group of volunteers that sing to those who are ill or dying, at their bedside. When I was volunteering at a sound healing conference in Oakland a few years ago, I saw a blurb about them in the schedule but was unable to attend their performance since my volunteer shift was at that time in another part of the conference. So I made a note to myself to look the group up and figure out how to join.
The idea of giving back in that way was so uniquely special and it called to me right away as someone who has always enjoyed touching people with my voice. The couple times I have sung for the elderly (Christmas caroling at an old folks home in Santa Monica) or the ill (singing uplifting music at a home for people living with HIV/AIDS in NY), it was extremely gratifying. I have always wanted to do more performances of that nature but hadn't found the right opportunity.
Recently, I moved from Oakland to LA and in the new year I was cleaning out my email inbox when I came across this message I had sent to myself about the Threshold Singers. I decided to research and see if there was anything like this nearby. Lo and behold, there was! So I emailed the chapter in my area, joined, and went to my first rehearsal last week. It all feels beautifully serendipitous and meant to be.
The people who are drawn to this form of singing are as wonderfully open and kind as one might think. The energy in the room was soothing and exhilarating at the same time. One might even say magical. I had chills, was grinning ear to ear, and was on the verge of crying happy tears for 2 hours straight. Can't wait to go to my next rehearsal!
If anyone has a loved one who could benefit from bedside singing you can learn more about the choir here. We have chapters all over the world and more than 500 songs written by the members themselves. Hopefully I can add some of my original music to the mix eventually too.