“The only thing better than singing is more singing.”

Ella Fitzgerald

Home 2017-12-13T21:30:58+00:00

Introducing Singing Hills Chorus

The Mankato & North Mankato ACT on Alzheimer’s Action Team is proud to introduce a new and exciting opportunity for people in the community to join together for a unique choral experience. The chorus, especially created for persons with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, and their care partners, started in September 2017.

Singers of all abilities create and learn in weekly rehearsals at a warm and accessible music venue with a specially trained professional choral conductor who ensures artistic excellence. The rehearsals culminate in a public performance showcasing the accomplishments of the singers. Singing Hills Chorus was inspired by the Twin-cities based Giving Voice Chorus!

Click here to download info sheet

The Singing Hills Chorus Experience

  • No singing experience required
  • Music director understands singers’ potential
  • Comfortable rehearsal space with good acoustics
  • Variety of music, familiar and challenging, adapted as needed
  • Personalized music books and practice CDs
  • Weekly rehearsals and a public performance
  • Social time for singers and volunteers
  • Dementia-aware volunteers available to assist

We celebrate the full potential of people living with Alzheimer’s.

 Peace, Love & Joy Concert

Join us for our first performance on December 16, 1pm. A reception will follow.

Tickets are $10. Children five and under are free.

The concert will be held in the Chapel of Our Lady of Good Counsel.
For tickets or information, call (507) 519-0626 or email katoactonalz@yahoo.com. Tickets also available at Scheitel’s Music & Rhapsody Music.

Leadership

Kristin Ziemke, Music Director

Kristin is a Board Certified Music Therapist and founder of Avenues Music Therapy. She specializes in working with older adults, including individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease. She received her undergraduate degree in Music Therapy from UW-Eau Claire and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Music Therapy at Colorado State University.  

Sandi Lubrant, Program Director

Sandi is the team lead of the Mankato & North Mankato ACT on Alzheimer’s Action Team. She is a graduate of Mankato State University. She serves on three Alzheimer’s Association MN-ND Chapter committees and on the Board of Directors with the Minnesota Elder Justice Center. 

Members of the ACT team and other community members have been instrumental in implementing this new program.

Chorus Information and Registration

Chorus members include people with dementia, their care partners and volunteers. We welcome any person who is living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia who can attend the structured weekly rehearsals and, most importantly, wants to make good music and good friends! There are no auditions, and no musical training or experience is necessary.

Chorus members will rehearse for a 90-minute rehearsal under the direction of Kristin Ziemke. There will be a half-hour of socialization time, along with refreshments, before and after the rehearsal.

The chorus rehearses for 14 weeks and performs at least one concert at the end of each session.

Dates: Thursday, February 1-May 10
(no rehearsal March 29

Time: Social times, 9:30am-10am & 11:30am-noon
Rehearsal, 10am-11:30am

Cost: $25 per person. The person with dementia must sign up with a care partner. Scholarships are available. Cost includes rehearsal and practice materials, refreshments and a performance scarf.

Location: School Sisters of Notre Dame, 170 Good Counsel Drive, Mankato. Parking is free.

Registration is now open for Spring Session, download registration form (PDF). Online registration will be available December 20. Registrations are accepted at any time if space is available, but singers are encouraged to sign up prior to the beginning of the session.

FAQs

No, a formal medical diagnosis is not required. The chorus is open to anybody who is experiencing memory loss that affects daily living. People with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, such as Dementia with Lewy Bodies, Frontotemporal disease or Vascular dementia may join.

Absolutely not! Choir participants will receive binders with lyrics and other adaptations as needed and will use them in rehearsals and public performances.

Yes, if you need to use a walker or wheelchair, we can accommodate you. We selected our current space after thoroughly reviewing the parking lot, lighting, restrooms, elevators, etc. If additional accommodations are needed, please let us know.

No. However, we want the chorus to look similar for the public performance and will ask members to wear white shirts and black pants. A coordinating piece will be provided to all members.

Volunteer singers will be paired with the chorus member living with dementia. Care partners are welcome to sing in their own section.

“Those who wish to sing always find a song.” 

― Swedish Proverb

Volunteer with Us 

Volunteers help us deliver a rewarding and inspiring choral experience. You can volunteer as a singer in the chorus or as a helper during rehearsals, the concert or day-to-day operations.

Our volunteer singers sing alongside the person with dementia, helping them follow the music and lyrics, taking instructional notes and ensuring that all the singers have a comfortable and enjoyable experience during rehearsals and performances.

Volunteers with operations experience help us run a well-organized chorus! We need volunteers in the following areas:

  • Office support
  • Rehearsal and concert refreshments
  • Concert box office, ticket takers, and ushers
  • Concert stage crew
  • Photographer
  • Videographer
CONTACT US

Volunteers must agree to a background check and to attend Dementia training. 

About the Mankato & North Mankato ACT on Alzheimer’s Action Team

Mankato and North Mankato are one of 48 ACT on Alzheimer’s dementia-friendly communities in Minnesota. We are committed to creating a dementia friendly community that is respectful, safe, informed and engaging.

www.mnraaa.org/act

Affiliate Member of Giving Voice Initiative

Singing Hills Chorus is an affiliate member of the newly-formed Giving Voice Initiative (GVI). We are the first GVI chorus in outstate Minnesota! GVI created a toolkit modeled after the Giving Voice Chorus which began in 2014 in collaboration with MacPhail Center for Music. As a GVI member, it is our priority is to meet the needs of people with Alzheimer’s who live in community because they generally have fewer opportunities to socialize and be creative. Similarly, their care partners often feel isolated and alone. In serving these community members, GVI choruses create unique opportunities for people to connect, grow, challenge stereotypes, and significantly improve quality of life.

Watch the original Giving Voice Chorus in a Twin Cities Public Television video

Singing Hills Chorus thanks

The Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging, Inc. is the fiscal agent for Mankato & North Mankato ACT on Alzheimer’s