Hospice and Healing Choir
Serving patients, caregivers, families, and the community.
Appropriate music to provide comfort and care for all.
Who are we?
An outreach project of Two Rivers Community Choir, TraverSing serves families and communities experiencing grief, as well as end of life journeys. We provide music and programming to school, churches, and communities after loss or trauma. Through singing, healing is facilitated, and new pathways are discovered.
What do we do?
We provide a calm and gentle presence, singing simple songs from many traditions, which offer solace and peace to clients, families, and caregivers alike. Our singing is contemplative or interactive, depending upon the situation.
What do we provide?
Hospice and palliative sings for shut-ins, assisted living facilities, or in the privacy of your own home.
Programming for schools, churches, and communities following loss or trauma.
Singing at memorial services.
Does it cost anything for a visit?
We offer our services by donation, or free of charge, depending upon each situation. Our singing can
ease the pain of temporary or chronic health through music, as well as provide a healing ground after trauma and loss. providing comfort, ease, and peace of mind.
How can I join you?
Our roster runs between fifteen and forty singers, yet when we visit a patient, we are just a few voices (2 -5) at a time. We sing a broad spectrum of songs, from spirituals, gospel music, traditional, folk music, songs from other cultures, and sacred chants, and even take requests when possible.
An individual visit lasts usually 20 minutes, whereas programming for schools and communities vary between 30 minutes to an hour. We are always sensitive to the situation, singing in both unison and harmonies, and we offer our voices as gifts, rather than as a performance. In group settings, we encourage participants to join in the song; healing is remarkably spontaneous when we join our voices together.
Director Marybeth Hallinan is a trained choral conductor and hospice volunteer. Hallinan holds a deep respect and reverence for the hospice and palliative environment. She is capable of leading singers toward this end, and providing an exceptional experience for singers, patients, families and caregivers.
Our service is offered free of charge to patients, although we would gratefully accept donations to further our mission.
Mission and Guidelines
All are welcome to join TraverSing hospice choir, although you should be comfortable with the following:
be able to to give of ourselves to others in a healing environment and to learn and grow in an intimate setting;
be able to blend your voice gently with others, and to communicate kindness with your voice;
be able to to grow together, towards the common goal of using music as a way to assist and affirm life's transitions;
be able to attend a short orientation meeting with the local hospice volunteer coordinator (these orientations will occur during a rehearsal time);
be able to match pitches and learn music easily;
be able to hold your part in a small ensemble.
Membership is on a volunteer basis. I ask members simply to cover the costs of the music ( $20), and to be responsible for keeping their music organized and ready for rehearsals. I provide initial first copies of all the repertoire, and binders.
Meeting monthly on the 3rd Thursday of each month (excluding August and December).
We will have two opportunities to sing together. As a large group, we will have regularly scheduled outreach “concerts” at area nursing homes, either monthly or every other month. Singing at the bedside is usually a last-minute event, and will be in small groups of 3 – 6 singers. Singers will be queried when the opportunity arises, and the coordinator will choose a number of singers from those who respond, to fit the appropriate setting. No one is obligated to sing at the bedside. Singers at bedside must have attended a hospice orientation.
The music in our repertoire is an eclectic collection from various sources. I am always open to suggestions of songs to add to the group! We will sing chants, rounds, hymns, gospel pieces, liturgical music, contemporary songs, and a wide variety of other styles.
The composers for use in the hospice setting have donated much of this music. Some of the pieces I have purchased myself, and been given the blessing to copy for uses of this project only, free of charge.
The repertoire book I made up is for our use only and not to be distributed.
Given the voluntary nature of the group, and various copyright issues, it is important to respect both the intent of a hospice-singing group, and the work of the various authors and arrangers of the music herein. Therefor, if you are a choir director, and want to use some of the music in the repertoire for your own group, please contact the publisher and/or arranger directly to gain permission to use the music, and purchase copies for your groups!
I have that information readily available and will gladly share upon request. Thank you for your stewardship and attention to this important issue.
We collaborate, in part, with the local hospice organization, and as such, members who wish to sing at the bedside will be required to attend a short hospice orientation provided free of charge. There will be several opportunities throughout the year to attend orientation. It is also recommended that you read the book Final Gifts, which is provided in the TraverSing lending library. If you have already completed hospice volunteer training, you will have fulfilled this requirement.
Please contact Marybeth for more information, or to join TraverSing.
"Your songs were lovely. My mother, whose eyes had been closed for days, opened her eyes and smiled. What a gift of comfort to us all. I recommend TraverSing with a grateful heart."