“Felt like my heart was singing”: Regina choir members find joy in performance from a distance

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After losing her yoga studio and being diagnosed with cancer, Pam Roberts says being part of a Regina-based choir gave her a lifeline.

“I felt connected,” she said. “I really felt I had a community that brought a sense of normalcy.”

Roberts was diagnosed with advanced lymphoma in January. After being diagnosed, she said she felt like everything she knew was gone – and the Sisters of Mercy, a choir of women in the community, helped her put some ground back under her feet. feet.

“It was so uplifting – it felt like my heart was singing and it made me optimistic about the future,” Roberts said.

When the pandemic struck, the Sisters of Mercy choir stopped singing together and began discussing a pandemic plan. The choir decided to create a choral version of the song. Come all the women by Saskatchewan songwriter Connie Kaldor.

Choir member Lisa Dale-Burnett joked that she started a career as a “stalker”, trying to connect with Kaldor and his managers. They responded and gave the group permission to use the song, claiming that Kaldor supported the women who sang together during difficult times.

Dale-Burnett said the song’s message of encouraging women to come together and persevere through difficult times resonated with choir members.

They recorded their version of the song without ever singing together in person. The choir members recorded themselves individually on their phones and the clips were compiled together to create the entire recording.

A video of the choral version of the song premiered at the Cathedral Village Arts Festival this week.

“It’s such a different process when you’re singing on your own as opposed to having the comfort of the voices around you,” Burnett said, adding that it takes a certain degree of bravery for the members to sing on their own.

Singer-songwriter Alyssa Woolhether wrote the choral notation for the song and produced the project, after the choir asked her for help.

“It was so rewarding to give others the chance to be creative themselves during this time, because I know what it is,” Woolhether said. “I haven’t sung with other people in a year either and it’s something you treasure.”

Alyssa Woolhether created the choral version of the song. (Jackie Larkin)

Woolhether mixed the audio to create the song with help from David Roman of Roman Empire Studios. She hosted Zoom sessions to help choir members focus on breathing and pronouncing certain words.

Woolhether said there are mental, physical and spiritual benefits to singing, and it brings her the most joy on Earth. For choir members, there is an unspoken connection that emerges when singing together, she said, explaining that she wanted to create the same feeling in a virtual space.

“I wanted to do the project to let them know there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we’ll get there. And we can bring our community together – through song, through music.”

6:12Sisters of Mercy Women’s Choir creates choral version of Connie Kaldor’s “Come All You Women”

The pandemic hasn’t stopped a group of women from making music together. The choral group’s latest song premiered this week as part of the Cathedral Village Arts Festival. 6:12


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