Vital People: Voices in Motion choir is back performing again

Vital People: Voices in Motion choir is back performing again
WatchThe Voices in Motion Choir for people with memory loss is performing again for the first time since the start of COVID. In this week's Vital People, Tess van Straaten takes us to their choir practice to see how happy they are to be back together again.

After a COVID shutdown kept them apart, the Voices in Motion choir for people with memory loss is back — singing in the same room.

“We are so excited to be back in person!” says Voices in Motion artistic director Erica Phare-Bergh. “A year and a half on zoom has been plenty for us!”

“It was like Christmas coming early!” executive director Rick Bergh says. “We’re just so executed to be able to see each other and to be able to hear the voices and just be together.”

During COVID, the non-profit didn’t skip a beat — pivoting to online choirs to try and keep its members engaged, and that’s not all.

“We had things like happy hour every Friday afternoon getting people together online for fun and games, we had something called getting to know you, which was interviewing our folks, interviewing people, hearing their life stories,” Rick says.

For choir members and their families, it’s literally been a life-line.

“We have been so isolated through COVID that finding things to engage him have been very, very difficult so the music kept him going,” says Penny, who is caregiver for her husband, Ralph. “It gave him life.”

But for choir members and their families, nothing compares to being back together again.

“It was amazing when we came back in person, he just perks up as soon as we get here and we get to see people,” an emotional Penny says. “I, too, have been working from home this whole time and It’s just enlightening to come back and be around people.”

It’s only fitting the choir’s first concert since COVID (December 12th and December 19th) is called ‘So Happy Together’.

“This has just shown us in spades why singing in a choir — singing is great, music is great, dancing is great — but singing together, is the thing that’s so impactful,” Erica says.

“Honestly, I have tears when I leave because I know what the music does,” adds Rick.

“It’s an amazing experience to leave this place and feel energized, to feel warm inside, and to know somehow that hour and a half we spend together is making a big difference it makes in people’s lives.”

Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

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