More likely than not, you have experienced the power of song during a Celebration of Life or Memorial, yes? Maybe you felt goosebumps wash over you. Or maybe the song was so cathartic, it opened up whatever held back your unshed tears.
I am fresh from a retreat where I sang for nearly three days – during a Southwest Gathering of Threshold Choirs – led by our founder Kate Munger. I attended with two other sisters from Tucson, joining a circle of women from Taos, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Colorado Springs, Silver City, Austin and more. Together, we felt first hand the power of healing songs; written to celebrate life, acknowledge love, provide support and soothe the pangs of loss. I am feeling enormously blessed for being a member of the Tucson Threshold Choir. Thus, needed to share here what a resource we are locally, regionally and nationally.
Here is an ‘introductory’ video, featuring the ‘Grandmother’ of our Choir movement, Kate:
Here are a few song lyrics to go with what you hear in this video:
“I am sending you light / To heal you / To hold you / I am sending you light / To hold you in love”
This is an example of a song we recently sang, at a bi-annual Celebration of Life for a Tucson Hospice. We sing to people in various settings, not only at bedside. The songs are simple and beautiful. Our Choirs’ sounds reach out to help people remember and heal with love.
Please feel free to write with any questions or comments about the Threshold Choir movement and the music we create!
I first heard Threshold Choir members sing in person a few years ago. I immediately felt called to join. Choir members sing softly in small groups at the bedside of people who are living and dying. I have CDs like ‘Tenderly Rain’ and listen to the songs often, finding great comfort in them. I also offer the songs to clients with whom I work, in memorial or home funeral settings.
I finally found my way to our Tucson choir earlier this month. Wahoo! What an energetic bunch of creative women. After only a couple of rehearsals, I am overjoyed to sing with them. If you are not familiar with this group, here is an introductory video that gives you a chance to listen.
If you check out the video, you’ll meet Kate Munger, the founder and lead director of Threshold Choir. She is an amazing beam of creative light. I love how she says:
“there is no audition process to join the choir. All I ask is that you ‘feel the shiver’ when you hear our work. That seems to be enough.”
And truly, that is what happened to me, along with tears of joy. 🙂
Last night during our choir practice, I thought so frequently of the people in Japan who mourn and face unknowable losses. As they come to terms with the devastation following the quake and tsunami, I wish them peace somehow. As many of us do right now, I grieve from afar. From way across the Pacific – after we sang through the evening – the aching grief I feel was somewhat soothed. The uplifting powers of music continually amaze me. Especially it seems, during the most emotionally fragile times of loss.
If you are reading this and feel curious about a Threshold chapter in your area, you can look here. The organization is growing by the moment. New chapters may have formed that are not listed. I believe nationwide, there are thousands of women lifting their voices in song for people at the threshold.
Please comment below, if you are reading this in Tucson and interested in joining or in having our choir members sing for a person you love. We will connect.