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VIDEO: Shuswap singers young and old connect through passion for music

Intergenerational Choir performs at Nexus First May 28 for first time since 2020

Singers of all ages are raising their voices in the Shuswap, ready to serenade audiences again after the pandemic.

The Shuswap Intergenerational Choir is made up of singers aged 7-17 and adults 70 and older. Anyone in between those age brackets is welcome as well, but is asked to bring someone that fits in either category.

“There’s something magical that happens when you mix the young and the ‘young at heart’,” reads a post on the choir’s Facebook page, and current singers with the group echo that sentiment.

Choir director Andréa Roberts has years of singing experience, both through her work as a nurse singing in care homes and through other community singing initiatives. She was approached by now-retired Dr. Barb McKinnon and a group of other doctors to lead the singers, originally meant to only be made up of the young and older age groups. As family members and caretakers became interested, however, the choir opened up, and today has a strong membership nearing 50 singers.

“I thought it was a fantastic idea, just to get the kids and seniors together, get people out of their houses,” said Roberts. “We all know that singing is fantastic for mental health and so when the opportunity was given to me, I was like, ‘I would love to do this.’”

Several of the choir’s youth members were eager to share why they love singing with the group.

Aurelia Wilson, who attends with her neighbour, said choir is “just fun.”

“I love how, if you accidentally miss something, you can just jump right back into it,” she said, adding she felt like there is no pressure.

Avé Cavers’ grandfather signed her up for choir and they attend together weekly.

“I have a bit of stage fright, but I have performed before,” said Cavers, who was chosen to sing a solo in the choir’s repertoire.

Genesis Baker said she likes to sing with other people.

“I think it’s really fun to sing with other ages,” shared Baker. “I joined choir because one of my friends was in choir and Miss Andréa was my musical theatre teacher so she let me into choir. Miss Andréa’s a good teacher because she has a lot of energy.”

The choir is back for its first live concert since 2020, having dealt with pandemic restrictions. It will be the group’s fourth year performing together at Nexus First in Salmon Arm Sunday, May 28 at 2 p.m. Admission for the concert is by donation.

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Rebecca Willson

About the Author: Rebecca Willson

I took my first step into the journalism industry in November 2022 when I moved to Salmon Arm to work for the Observer and Eagle Valley News. I graduated with a journalism degree in December 2021 from MacEwan University in Edmonton.
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