It has been said that music is the universal language of mankind. It’s also a heck of a lot of fun, say members of the 100 Mile House Eclectica Choir.
For years now the community choir has brought people together to make music and have fun. Margot Shaw, one of the choir’s musical directors, said the group is recruiting new voices this month to join their chorus.
“I think that singing makes everybody happy and music is incredibly powerful. Singing together is something you can do to make your life better,” Shaw said. “If you do it with enthusiasm and a laugh it’s just great.”
That’s been the experience of Susan Zimmerman and Patricia Weckworth. Both ladies, who have become fast friends thanks to their shared activity, joined the choir specifically to meet like-minded people.
Zimmerman originally joined the choir in 2019 just before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. After running Happy Landing Swiss Fine Dining for several years, she said she was looking for a new way to stay in touch with the community after retiring. Meeting and befriending people like Weckworth was exactly what she was looking for.
“Here we have young people and older people - it’s for every age, basically. It’s fun and brings me out of the house and I’m always looking forward to it,” Zimmerman said.
Weckworth, meanwhile, joined the choir last year. After moving to Green Lake from Quesnel in 2020, she was eager to take on an activity that would help her make new friends. Joining a choir was something she’s wanted to do for years but raising a family and teaching music took priority until her retirement.
“One of the things I looked for when I moved here was to sing again and I had heard about the choir here. I’d only been doing it in the classroom,” Weckworth said. “Singing was a post-COVID necessity, for me. It was an opportunity to interact with people and give back to the community.
Outside of the social benefits, both also love the chance to sing with other people. Weckworth remarked that always learning something new, like music, is a good way to keep your brain active as you age.
Zimmerman, meanwhile, has discovered a real love for music. Next to singing for an hour each day back in elementary, she said she had no real musical experience but since joining the choir has grown in confidence.
“When I’m listening to music, I feel happy. I’m singing more now. Even when I hear a song on the radio, I love to sing,” she said.
Shaw said these types of experiences are what Eclectica is built upon. She’s hopeful more people follow Weckworth and Zimmerman’s example and join the choir this year. She noted the choir is a friendly and flexible place and they’re happy to work with first-time vocalists.
“The joy of a choir is the audience has no idea where the noise comes from,” she joked.
Shaw and the entire choir are excited this year to see the return of their annual Christmas concert at Martin Exeter Hall on Dec. 10.
The choir is accepting new members until the end of September. Those interested are encouraged to come to one of their practices on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at 100 Mile United Church or contact Shaw at 250-945-4080 or email@example.com.