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Sing along to carols with Resounding Voices

December 18, 2018

A piano, a few instrumentalists, and a whole choir of people with dementia and their caretakers — that’s all Resounding Voices needs to put together a holiday sing-along.

“It’s a really unifying thing, to sing along,” artistic director Suzanne Johnson said.

Resounding Voices was put together in the last year. Rochester residents with cognitive decline can still engage with music, and oftentimes remember the tunes and lyrics to old songs long after other memories fade.

Johnson said many of the carols that will be sung Tuesday are old favorites, chosen by members of the choir.

“People enjoy singing those, and it doesn’t seem like there are a lot of places to do that anymore,” she said. “If someone comes with dementia, they should be able to sing along.”

The concert is open to the entire community, though, not just people with dementia and their caretakers. The lyrics of the carols will be projected so the audience can follow along, and Johnson promises that the event “won’t be singing all four verses of anything” (like “Joy to the World,” perhaps?).

A group of a few women will sing more contemporary songs at interludes, Johnson said, and the audience will also be invited to sing along to those if they know them.

And, of course, there will be breaks for readings. “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” should evoke even more nostalgia, Johnson said.

The chorus’ winter session officially begins in January. For more information, go to resoundingvoices.org.

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