Singing Across the Threshold

The opportunity to provide comfort and peace through song is a great motivation for Threshold Choir singers, passionate volunteers who sing at the bedsides of those who are ill or dying. On Sunday, April 7, 2024 some 70 singers from 10 Threshold Choirs throughout New England came together for a Threshold Regional Gathering at Groton Hill – an inspirational day of workshops, singing, and connecting hosted by our own Threshold Singers. In addition to the Massachusetts choirs, the participants represented groups from New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, and Connecticut.

California-based singer/songwriter and training/coaching professional Penelope Salinger was the featured presenter. Salinger led three full-group sessions in the Concert Hall, where participants practiced songs from their repertoire and learned new music to take back to their communities. Singers socialized during lunch and breaks, and attended break-out sessions on vocal technique and death/dying issues presented by Threshold leaders Charlotte Russell and Linda Bryce.

“Groton Hill created a warm and wonderful gathering for our choirs with such careful thought to every detail,” said Ann Nichols, leader of the Greater Hartford Threshold Choir. “We were abuzz with excitement driving home, feeling energized and excited to share the new songs and learnings with the rest of our choir.” Kim Moody of the Casco Bay Threshold Singers said: “It was so beautiful to be in such a gorgeous space together.”

Threshold singers truly enjoy hearing and feeling their voices blend in unison and in harmony. “Seventy voices singing together in the Concert Hall was magical,” said Suzanne Buell, Administrative Coordinator for the Threshold Singers at Groton Hill.
“After seven long years of not being together, our New England Regional Gathering filled us all with joy as we lifted our voices in song, greeted many new members from other New England choirs, and celebrated happy reunions with those of us who have been meeting and planning remotely for so many years.” During the pandemic, the New England choirs shared ideas, protocols, and support via Zoom, coordinated by Naomi Mintz, a member of the Threshold Singers at Groton Hill who also acts as the regional liaison to the international organization.

With over 200 Threshold Choir chapters throughout the world, this free service is an important community resource and one of Groton Hill’s essential community engagement initiatives. The Threshold Singers at Groton Hill offer bedside singing for healing and life’s transitions. When invited, groups of 2 or 3 singers will visit those who are ill or dying at hospitals, hospice, or at home. Their repertoire of non-denominational songs is a source of inspiration and renewal for the singers themselves as well as a comfort to those they sing for.

New singers are always welcome! Learn more about the Threshold Singers at Groton Hill and the Threshold Choir movement.