For those who were told they could not sing, and believed that story, singing in Margaret’s Choir will change that belief. The choir inspires joy, self-confidence and a wonderful sense of community in its members. You are invited to experience that joy of singing for yourself on December 10th when the choir will hold a benefit concert for Refuge Winnipeg to help refugees settle in their new homes.
Margaret’s Choir, named in honor of its founder, Margaret Tobin, is a non-audition community choir which raises funds for various charities in the city through concerts held twice a year. The choir is directed by Nathan Poole and supported by choir pianist, Charmaine Bacon.
“The passion and community spirit of this choir is so great and hard to find in any choir,” explains Nathan Poole, Choir Director.
“From people not singing at all to singing three months later in concert gives an epic feeling. Last season’s concert venue was the Centennial Concert Hall. There is joy, excitement, happiness, and a lot of nerve too,” says Poole. “They rehearse and learn to sing with passion and confidence.”
He adds, “A lot people in the orientation say they were told they shouldn’t be singing and to just mouth the words in school choir. People then spend the rest of their lives not singing.” Poole thinks this is heartbreaking, as he enjoys hearing people sing.
Pat Reid, choir chairperson, who volunteers much of her time, says that being a member of the choir has helped change her life. Although she used to be quite shy and would only sing with family members, she now feels comfortable expressing herself and speaking in public.
“A long-time member said to me, ‘You have a very nice voice,’ and that really started to perk my confidence,” explains Reid.
“This choir has given me a voice in a very powerful way that I have confidence to speak in so many places.”
Reid also notes that her experience with the choir makes her encourage others to use their voice in song.
This season, Margaret’s Choir was blessed to have musician and Director, Helen Bergen, jump in at the last minute to direct the choir while Poole was recovering from a biking accident. The choir loved her too. She will be directing for a part of the concert.
“The experience has been absolutely wonderful,” Bergen says. “Everyone is so enthusiastic and welcoming. When we meet outside the choir, they come up to me and greet me.”
Bergen adds, “The music is fantastic and full of enthusiasm.”
The choir has grown over the past few years and now has 200+ members. So far they have raised more than $200,000 for Winnipeg charities. Margaret’s Choir looks as if it will definitely have a bright future.
Founder, Margaret Tobin, would be very proud.
Musical Guest: Papa John’s Blues Trio
Venue: Jubilee Place, 173 Talbot Ave.
Sun. Dec. 10, 2017 at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets — $20 for adults, $10 children and students — are available from any choir member, or by calling or emailing Pat Reid at 204-452-6590 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shona Davidson is a member of Margaret’s Choir