Studies have shown music can change moods, set the tone in a movie or inspire people to do great things.
On that note the Threshold Choir, a non-profit-organization which includes choirs located all over North America, serving people in need was formed.
The group follows the ancient tradition of singing to those who are sick or are at the thresholds of healing and dying.
The choir sings gently and the calm in the voices can have a nurturing and healing effect on clients and loved ones.
This spring Annette MacBean, Gwen Jaeger and Shirley Clark started a local chapter of the Threshold Choir.
MacBean felt it was time to form a Placerville choir.
“For about a year we had been making the drive to Auburn to sing with the Threshold Choir there. We wanted to sing for own community in Placerville and not drive so far,” MacBean said.
Jennifer Jackson has been singing in choirs her whole life and felt the Threshold Choir was a good way to put her love of singing to a good service.
“I have been a music teacher for 20 years, and this was the first year in a while that I had not been working full time. When Annette called me I was both looking for new things to do and immediately saw a need I could fill. The Placerville Threshold Choir needed a music director, and I had the time and skills to fill that role,” Jackson said.
When the families and caregivers are invited to the patient’s bedside they can join the choir’s songs or just listen to the gift of reassuring music.
“My goal is to bring peace, comfort and healing to those who are ailing. When I sing this music I open my heart and allow spirit to pour forth healing light. When I have taken a turn to sit in the healing chair it feels as if you are being bathed in a loving light. I wish to be a part of a loving team to bring this to those who could really use it,” Jackson said.
Appointments and songs are individually customized to the client’s wishes and needs.
The songs are chosen by musical taste, spiritual direction and current receptivity of the patient. They are not necessarily religiously oriented and simply have a soothing and appeasing character.
“I aspire to sing from my heart, to have my voice communicate loving compassion and acceptance. I imagine facing ones death is often a solitary journey and so I want the person I am singing to, even for a short time, to not fell alone, to feel their passing is being witnessed and their life is being honored. My hope is the singing is comforting as well as uplifting,” MacBean said.
Marcia Callenberger joined the choir because she aware of the power of music and the sound of the human voice.
“I have experienced the power personally with close family members who were gifted the sound of music as they healed and in on special moment, as they were passing. It was a gift to all of us in the room and brought us all closer as we struggled with emotions,” Callenberger said.
The Threshold Choir is now ready for clients in El Dorado County and anyone who needs the group to support them with its wonderful gift of song is welcome to contact the group.
Send an e-mail request to email@example.com.
At present the Placerville Threshold Choir has 12 members but the group is still looking for a few more members and a new location for rehearsals.
There are no strict requirements for choir membership. Singing experience would be helpful but is not necessary — just the desire to serve and help others.
The members invite new members to join the Placerville Threshold Choir and experience how fulfilling it can be to help others during hard times.
Rehearsals take place on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at 7 p.m.