The Healing Power of Holiday Community Singing

December 15, 2014 9:35 PM

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Live community music during the holidays is one of the most life-affirming gifts we can offer and receive. But what about those who can't get out to hear all this wonderful music? Many chorales all over the country bring music to elders in senior centers, to homeless shelters, and hospitals. Every year when my Seattle Metropolitan Glee Club offers our holiday concert to elders in senior centers, I'm reminded of the first time I witnessed this Christmas miracle of community song.

When I was 15 in Northern Virginia, our church youth choir carried our Christmas treats and our singing to the prestigious and widely-revered St. Elizabeth's mental institution in Washington, D.C. The complex cantata we had practiced all fall was called "Night of Miracles," and in addition to my mot...

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