Hospice choirs in New England

I’m passing along the following announcement about hospice choirs (see the end of the post for a definition of “hospice choir”):

The hospice choir movement has begun to blossom in New England, primarily thanks to Hallowell and its founder, Kathy Leo, who has given workshops all over New England.

We started our choir, Eventide Singers, in western Massachusetts in October 2007. There are others, too. Some are directly associated with hospice organizations such as The Noyana Singers; some are directly connected with a church such as the Harbour Singers; and others, including Eventide, are separate organizations.

If you are interested in this subject you might wish to visit the Chalice of Repose which, for thirty years has been studying and teaching “prescriptive music” to be performed by “contemplative musicians.”

Long story short, I am researching for all existing hospice choirs to assemble into a network for the purpose of sharing information, repertoire and experience.

Any information you may have on such choirs will be greatly apprecated.

Thanks in advance,

John Bos
Eventide Singers
eventidesingers AT verizon DOT net

Hospice choirs are groups of singers who sing for dying people, or sometimes more specifically for people in hospice care. Kate Munger’s Threshold Choir is probably the best-known example of a hospice choir. The repertoire is carefully selected, and the performance is usually by two or three singers practiced in singing in a low-volume, healing tone of voice. Many hospice choirs work with the rest of the healing team, helping people at the end of life to navigate the natural process of dying with dignity and serenity.

While I’ve never had the opportunity to work with one directly as part of a care-giving team, I’m a fan of the hospice choir concept. If you know of a hospice choir, please let John Bos know. And if you want to start your own hospice choir in your church, follow some of the above links to learn more and to make connections.

4 thoughts on “Hospice choirs in New England

  1. Hope Tripp

    I heard about the “choir” through NPR. I belong to a Boston choir and was wondering how a small group of us could establish a threshold choir in the Boston area.



  2. Perry

    Hi Hope,
    I too am interested in joining a threshold choir in the Boston area. I live south of the city but can get into town quite easily.

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