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General · 24th October 2017
Mary Dennison
The Threshold Choir offers singers the opportunity to share the gifts of their voices in compassion and truth at life’s thresholds – to people who are struggling, some with living, some with dying.

Threshold Choirs were inspired by Kate Munger in 1990 when she sang at the bedside of a dear friend of hers who was dying of HIV/AIDS. She had cleaned his house and worked in his garden but yearned to comfort her dying friend in a less mundane way. “By singing, I felt like I had given him a part of myself.” As she sang, her friend’s breathing deepened and slowed. He seemed calmer and less agitated. Her friend passed a few days later but Kate’s idea of ‘making kindness audible’ did not.

The first Threshold Choir gathering was held on March 21, 2000 and there are now 150 Threshold Choirs around the globe. Choir members have sung for people who are in or recovering from comas, newborns in neonatal nurseries, people in nursing homes and in private homes.

‘Threshold Choirs are non-denominational choirs that serve religious and non-religious clients. The repertoire consists of 300+ songs, over one-third written by Choir members. The songs range from classical to contemporary, hymns, chants, lullabies, spirituals and songs from various cultures and traditions.’

For eight years Mary Dennison, who leads Sing For Pure Joy! Community Choirs on Quadra Island, Campbell River and Ladysmith, has been dreaming of starting a Threshold Choir in Campbell River. On Sunday, November 12th, Mary will be holding a Threshold Choir Introductory Workshop, facilitated by Jan Alexander and open to anyone who is curious about this concept.

Jan is the director of the Vancouver Threshold Choir which started in 2009. They sing regularly for those who are sick or dying or in need of deep nurturing & healing song. Jan brought this work to Vancouver, after singing for three years with the Threshold Choir in Santa Cruz, CA. She found the sacred songs and compassionate voices brought her profound healing and solace after the loss of both her mother and sister.

Jan also serves with the Threshold Choir International to help mentor those wishing to start a Threshold Choir in their community and to date has worked with eight new choirs from Bowen Island, the Sunshine Coast, Calgary, Nelson, Kamloops, Surrey, and Cornwall in the UK. Now she will bring her compassion and expertise to Campbell River.

Spirituality has always been one of Jan's deepest inspirations, and this is evident in her work. She holds a Master of Arts in Creation Spirituality with Matthew Fox. In addition to her work with Threshold Choir, Jan is passionate about her work as an educator in Vancouver public schools.

Pre-registration is required. Please contact Mary Dennison to register. The workshop will run from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday November 12th at The Lions Den, 1441 Ironwood Street (across from Thrifty Foods). There will be a fee of $20 to offset expenses.

Mary’s email address is