Nurses’ choir tunes up for holiday concert

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The Winnipeg Nurses Choir could be described as a community within a community — and that’s certainly a harmonious thing.

The choir — an ensemble group comprised of either current, semi-retired or retired nurses that was formed in 2018 — is tuning up to hold its first public choral concert of the holiday season on Sun., Nov. 27 at 2:30 p.m. at the United Church in Meadowood in St. Vital (1111 Dakota St.).

In keeping with this time of year, guests can expect to hear some seasonal favourites at the choir’s annual concert for family and friends, as well as some Broadway hits and music by such luminaries as The Beatles, Leonard Cohen, and Simon and Garfunkel on the setlist, according to the group’s Facebook page.

Supplied photo

The original members of the Winnipeg Nurses Choir are pictured in this file photo.

“There will really be something for everyone that likes singing,” said the choir’s director, Bill Quinn, noting the choir performs at healthcare facilities, seniors’ residences and special events. “People want to support our front-line workers, and about half of the members of the choir are still working.”

“I’ll have nurses who’ve just worked a double shift and then turn up to rehearsals as it provides some stress relief, as well as that connection between many of the nurses that are part of the group, which is so special. I think this gives them something to look forward to every week,” he added.

Quinn — a longtime former music educator with Louis Riel School Division who lives in River Heights — said the upcoming concert won’t be operating on a ticket basis, but there will be a silver collection to help cover the choir’s expenses, and audience members are also graciously asked to bring a non-perishable item for the Christmas Cheer Board.

Helen Cooper, a semi-retired nurse who has most recently worked at St. Boniface Hospital, is a founding member of the choir. Cooper reignited her love of singing collectively with the group, said one of the best things about belonging to such a choir is that commonality that’s shared among its members.

“I’ve always enjoyed singing, and I used to sing in church choirs and opera groups when years ago when I lived in England. When this choir first got together, I thought we produced a really nice sound. We sing a variety of music, and some pieces are more challenging than others,” Cooper, who lives in The Maples, said.

“We all come from a common background. Plus, most of us see the choir as something different that can help take our minds off the stresses of work. It’s a fun and interesting diversion, as well as being therapeutic.”

The choir will be accompanied by pianist Megan Dufrat, who is currently pursuing a Master of Music in collaborative piano at the Desautels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba.

For more information, visit the Winnipeg Nurses Choir on Facebook.

Simon Fuller

Simon Fuller
Community Journalist

Simon Fuller is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. Email him at simon.fuller@canstarnews.com or call him at 204-697-7111.

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