Dark Times Choir welcomes all

Photo: Linda Barlett

Last year during the dark months of winter, a group of people gathered in the back room of the CRC’s North Street Community Centre in Killaloe to sing. Choirmaster and local musician Schroeder Nordholt directed the choir, which included seasoned singers as well as novices. As Nordholt led a series of warm-up exercises, the room filled with laughter and then with music. The choir sang songs by the Beatles, Gord Downey, Leonard Cohen, and Queen as well as folk songs and ditties.

This year, the Dark Times Choir will meet on Monday evenings (7:00 – 8:30) from October 22, 2018 to March 25, 2019. It is open to anyone, from the age of 10 years to 101. No previous singing experience is required. There is no need to register; people can drop in and if they enjoy the experience, come again. There is a donation box for free-will offerings to help cover costs.

The choir is a project of the Ottawa Valley Creative Arts Open Studio (OV-CAOS) with support from Killaloe’s Community Resource Centre (CRC). OV-CAOS Co-Artistic Director Anya Gansterer said,

We are delighted to offer this initiative. The opportunity to sing our way through the dark times is just what is needed as the days get shorter and colder.

Linda Archibald, a choir member and volunteer on the project said,

Research shows that singing in a choir improves people’s mood, energy level, and immune system. Singing releases endorphins, which can relieve stress and lower blood pressure. However, the real motivation for joining this choir is that it’s so much fun.

Nordholt added,

To put it simply, I feel happy when I sing and not when I don’t. It’s literally black and white for me. The focus of our choir is to create a space that makes singing fun, safe, and normal. For anyone who wants to experience the feel-good endorphins, the natural “high” that singing activates, with zero pressure to perform, this choir is perfect. If we can get you singing (which we will) and feeling really good (which you will) making it mysteriously easier to not only cope but also to thrive during the dark months (which it will), then we’ve succeeded in our mission, which is to normalize and encourage the act of singing! Can’t wait to see you there!

For further information, please contact Anya Gansterer at: anya@ov-caos.org

Ottawa Valley Creative Arts Studio, (2018, Oct. 15) Singing Through the Dark Times in Killaloe [Press release].

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