Salmon Arm residents find joy in singing together

Salmon Arm residents find joy in singing together

Shuswap Intergenerational Choir an opportunity to make real-world connections

Barb Brouwer

Contributor

Oxford Dictionary defines joyful as “feeling, expressing, or causing great pleasure and happiness.”

It is a word members of the Shuswap Intergenerational Choir use to describe their experiences with the informal choir that meets weekly.

“It certainly has been such a source of joy to all the people who have joined, and after our year-end choir, people told us of the joy they had watching us perform,” says Barb McKinnon. “The reason I do it is because it is also joyful see the interaction between the generations, which is not as common as it used to be.”

McKinnon says that while people may be connecting on the Internet, it, and increasingly busy lives, can interfere with real connections and lead to loneliness.

She refers to an American study that found the effect of loneliness on health is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Emerging science indicates that loneliness might be more detrimental than obesity, she says.

“Britain has appointed a minister of loneliness,” she adds, noting loneliness can play a profound role in heart disease, depression, the immune system and lead to poorer recovery from cancer and other diseases.

As a physician, her prescription is to make real-life connections, such as joining the choir, which is fully supported by the Shuswap North Okanagan Division of Family Practice.

Read more: Generations connect through song

Read more: Finding joy in song

Read more: Choir music steadfast part of Shuswap culture

“Singing crosses every culture and used to be done much more frequently and informally,” she says, noting members are welcome whether they have no experience or are unable to read music. “I don’t describe myself as a singer, but I love it.”

McKinnon says much of the credit for the weekly injection of laughter and joy goes to choir director Andréa Roberts.

Elaine Dergoussoff agrees. She joined last fall with her then seven-year-old granddaughter, Quinn. Her husband, Jim, grudgingly agreed to attend one practice and has been going ever since.

“Once he experienced the joy of being in a choir with Andréa he decided to stay, and in November when we went away, Quinn got her mother to go, so we’re three generations and we can’t wait to start again,” she says. “I always feel so joyful after choir and the sense of joy stays through the weekend. I was struggling with a bit of depression and it really lifted me out of that.”

A professional music teacher, Roberts calls the intergenerational choir practice “a real feel-good time in the week.”

“After a standing ovation in the middle of our last concert, and rave reviews from our community, we’re excited to start again,” says Roberts on the choir’s Facebook page. “We have so many great experiences to look forward to this year. We laugh (a lot), we cry (a little), we sing. It’s all about learning from each other, and respecting the different generations.”

Practice resumes on Sept. 19 and takes place from 4 to 5 p.m. on Thursdays at the Fifth Avenue Seniors Activity Centre.

There are no auditions and choir members should be between the ages of seven to 17, and 70 plus. Those between the ages of 18 to 69 who want to join, just need to take a “buddy” that falls within the above age groups.

Last year’s choir consisted of some 75 members and Roberts is hoping to attract more teens this year.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Swimming laps remains a permitted activity, at least for now, at the SASCU Rec Centre pool following new provincial orders on Dec. 3. (File photo)
A couple of activities still permitted in Salmon Arm recreation facilities

Following provincial orders regarding pandemic protocols, adult group sports have been cancelled

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
81 new cases of COVID-19 detected in Interior Health Friday

One additional staff member at Kelowna long-term care home tests positive, no new deaths

Salmon Arm’s Rotary clubs and two churches are teaming up to provide up to 600 meals for pick up on Christmas Day 2020 for people in need. (Shutterbug75/Pixabay)
Salmon Arm Rotarians, churches to produce 600 Christmas meals for those in need

A ticket will provide a free turkey dinner to pick up on Friday, Dec. 25

Shuswap Middle School Students kept over 1500 lbs of batteries out of the landfill with a recycling drive. (CSRD Photo)
Shuswap student battery drive keeps 1,500 lbs out of the landfill

Students learned a lot about the benefits of recycling

Salmon Arm homes with dazzling Christmas light displays are wanted for the inaugural Light Up the Night Christmas Light Contest. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Festive contest encourages Salmon Arm to light up the night

Prizes to be won for homes with best Christmas displays

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

It was an opening day filled with blue skies, sun and COVID-19 protocols at Vernon’s SilverStar Mountain Resort Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Passholders enjoy sunny opening day at Silver Star Mountain

Resort staff say parking reservations, COVID-19 protocols went smoothly Friday, Dec. 4

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Two arrested after attack at Vernon home

Police spotted around 43rd Avenue linked to Wednesday assault

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
Kelowna hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced the Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Most Read