VocalEssence Vintage Voices is an exciting new choral program that integrates the arts into the everyday lives of older adults by fostering the creation of choirs in assisted living communities and senior centers.
Activities include choral rehearsals with conductor Rob Graham and accompanist John Jensen for 12 weeks, culminating in an on-site concert for friends, family, residents and community members. Weekly rehearsals focus on the process of singing together, and incorporate sensory-rich activities, social and reflection time. This interactive, ongoing approach aims to elicit proven health benefits of creative arts, including improved health outcomes, reduced depression, increased engagement and pleasure, and improved self-esteem. In terms of singer recruitment, no audition is necessary to participate, but partner sites need to demonstrate interest and commitment from at least a group of around 20 who will consistently attend rehearsals as well as a VocalEssence concert.
With funding from the Minnesota State Arts Board, VocalEssence partnered with ArtSage and Ecumen to provide Vintage Voices to the following sites in 2015: Ecumen Seasons at Maplewood, Heritage Park Open Circle Adult Day, Sabathani Community Center, Inc., The Waters of Edina, Walker Methodist Highview Hills of Lakeville, and Augustana Open Circle of Apple Valley. In 2016, the Minnesota State Arts Board also funded the program at Sabathani Community Center, Inc. Senior Center, Ebenezer Minneapolis, Augustana Open Circle of Hopkins, and Presbyterian Homes & Services at Folkestone. In 2017, the Minnesota State Arts Board funded the program at Sabathani Community Center, Inc. Senior Center, Trillium woods in Plymouth, Ecumen Seasons of Apple Valley, and Parkshore Senior Living in Saint Louis Park. In 2018, the Minnesota State Arts Board funded the program at Sabathani Community Center, Inc. Senior Center, Hallie Q. Brown Community Center in Saint Paul, and The Waters on 50th in Southwest Minneapolis. In 2019, VocalEssence moved into a new, sustainable program model that operates through funding by our partner organizations, as well as additional financial support from Alfred and Ann Moore.
To participate in VocalEssence Vintage Voices, contact VocalEssence at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-547-1451.