The Merrickville Children and Adult Choirs are gearing up for their end of year concert set for the beginning of December. The choirs have been practicing every Sunday evening since September to present a concert dedicated to the love of music.
Choir director, Susan Lines, started the Merrickville Children’s Choir with her friend, Sharon Stull, back in 2011 with the goal of creating an activity in Merrickville that was affordable and which brought music into children’s lives. Parents soon expressed interest in getting involved as well, and the adult choir was formed.
Susan is a firm believer that anyone can sing. There are no try outs for the choir, and everyone has the opportunity to try singing on their own. “There are quite a few solos,” she says. “It’s not just about celebrating advanced singers.”
Being part of the choir is not just about the singing. “It’s also something for the community to celebrate,” Susan says. “We live in a small community, but that shouldn’t stop us from having something like this.”
There is no cost associated with being a part of the choir, and admission to their concerts is by donation only, with money raised going right back into the community to support various groups and charities. In the past, they have raised money for the House of Lazarus, the Merrickville Public School Play structure, the HUB swimming pool, and Merrickville Bridge to Canada. The upcoming concert will be raising money for the Merrickville Food Bank.
The concert will be a compilation of different vocal arrangements, with the children and adults singing both separately and together. There will also be some solo and smaller group performances and a few numbers from the more seasoned vocal group, called Rideau Voices, that Susan is a part of. They will be accompanied by experienced accompanist and singer Kathleen Howard, who has volunteered her time to play with the choir. “We couldn’t do it without her,” Susan says.
Susan’s favourite part of running the choir is seeing the individual progress and confidence choir members build throughout the season. “Singing is very good for emotional wellbeing,” she says. “The kids are learning skills that they can take into their life. It’s a great thing to keep us all alert, engaged, and part of the community.”
The concert will start at 7:00pm on Sunday, December 3, 2017 at the Merrickville United Church. Tickets are by donation.