Heavenly music sung by experienced voices filled the air at Tignish Seniors Home as a choir made up of the home’s residents practiced on the afternoon of Sept. 25.
The inspiration for the choir came from resident Arlean Gallant.
“She kept on saying ‘Are we going to sing’,” said Shelley DesRoches, who works at the seniors home and the choir’s director. “One day I said ‘OK, let’s do it’. So I went around and asked everybody, every room, and this what we came up with, which is more than I expected actually.”
The choir was formed about a month ago. There are 12 members and they practice half an hour twice a week in the common room area. The choir has been learning hymns, but with the holiday season approaching will soon be practicing Christmas music too.
Unlike some of fellow members, and although singing all her life, this is the first time Ms Gallant has ever been part of a choir.
“It makes you feel good,” said the 86-year-old. “You come alive.”
Ms Gallant even came up with the choir’s name: Golden Voices.
“To me, I think their spirits have been lifted a lot more,” said the home’s activities coordinator Alicia Shea. “Music seems to be really adding some joy and happiness into their day.”
Ms Shea said musicians often visit the seniors home to entertain the residents in the evening, but with the choir, it’s the residents that get to sing and entertain each other.
“They are finding a lot of joy entertaining themselves through music and singing with their friends,” she said.
Helping Ms DesRoches with the choir is fellow Tignish Seniors Home employee Janet Pitre.
“I absolutely love everything about it because I love music as well,” said Ms Pitre, who is the choir’s guitar player. “So when Shelley came to me and said ‘We should do something’, I said ‘Awesome, let’s go’.”
There are plans to have the choir share their vocal talents with a couple public performances in the future, including during an open house in December at the seniors home and for a music night at St Simon and St Jude Church.
Ms DesRoches said the members of the choir look forward to the practices.
“Every time I get here, it’s like ‘Choir today’,” she said with a laugh.