Stand in the Light Memory Choir is tuning up for fall showcase

Stand in the Light Memory Choir provides an outlet for people living with early-to-mid stages of dementia alongside their care-partners to connect through music.
Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 5:36 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -The Mighty Mouse Theme song is in the works for the choir’s now virtual showcase November 19.

“I thought you know, Mighty Mouse because that’s kind of what we did, we just all stepped in to save the day,” says Reitz.

Cathy Reitz, director of Stand in the Light Memory Choir says this group of singers is by far her most humbling choir.

“We talk about the magic of music and we talk about how powerful music is and how it creates these bonds and every week I see that happen, I see that magic even in the virtual rehearsals,” Reitz says.

Singing care partners are matched with a person living with memory loss for assistance during performances.

This dynamic duo says they look forward to singing together each week.

“We love music, we’ve probably been singing since we didn’t really know how to sing…little kids, always just loved it always been in choirs,” says choir member Barb.

“It’s more fun when we’re singing the two of us in the room for sure because then you have that companionship piece too,” says care partner and SITLMC president, Sheila Wall.

The choir’s base group of singers has shrunk in recent months, but their reach is ever-growing with their new online presence.

“It being virtual has also allowed family members from across the country –have joined us, so it’s not just people in Eau Claire anymore,” says choir administration member Kobi Shaw.

The choir’s accompanist, Nancy Wendt says being apart for months hasn’t been easy.

“The biggest part of it for me was to keep these people connected, both musically, seeing familiar faces out there, hearing music again and sparking some type of a memory for them,” Wendt says.

Reitz, whose family members have been affected by dementia, says the music is healing.

“I often say to choir members, I know you think it’s a dementia choir, but you’re just my choir, and some of you happen to have dementia,” Reitz says.

With a new virtual platform, the choir invites family members and anyone interested in supporting or signing with the choir to join their weekly rehearsals.

Standing together taking on a new meaning for the choir.

For a link to their virtual showcase streaming on YouTube on November 19 at 6:30 p.m., click here.

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