Thursday, August 4, 2011

Threshold Choir Gathering in Yellow Springs

6th Annual Midwest Threshold Choir Gathering with Kate Munger
Yellow Springs, OH
Sept. 30-Oct. 3, 2011

What is the Threshold Choir?

The Threshold Choir singers honor the ancient tradition of singing at the bedsides of people who are nearing the end of life. The voice, as the original human instrument, is a true and gracious vehicle for compassion and comfort. A recent LA Times article describes threshold singers as "creating a veil of tranquil sound for the dying and a balm for the grieving family members around them." Our singing might include rounds, chants, lullabies, hymns, and spirituals.

This weekend retreat will be an immersion into the songs and the spirit and the community of this unique and very rewarding service. Members from 12 different choirs from the Midwest and East Coast attended last year, and all are welcome who, as Kate Munger puts it, "feel the shiver when you hear of this work."

Friday, September 30
4-6 PM: Early dinner provided by the Columbus Ohio Threshold Choir. Meet and greet Kate and other Threshold Choir members at Linda Griffith's home.
114 West North College, Yellow Springs

6:30-7 PM: Check in/Registration 1315 Corry St. Yellow Springs
7-9 PM: Singing Circle with Kate Munger, founder and director of the national Threshold Choir movement 1315 Corry St. Yellow Springs

Saturday, October 1
9:30-10 AM: Arriving and settling in
10-5 PM: Threshold Choir Singing Circle and Training, with Kate.
Beverages and lunch provided by the Threshold Singers of Yellow Springs
1315 Corry St. Yellow Springs
5-7 PM: Supper on your own
7-9PM: Evening Session

Sunday, October 2
9:30-10 AM: Arriving and settling in
10 AM-12:30 PM: Closing Singing Session, including "graduation" times (see below), closing, and goodbyes
1315 Corry St. Yellow Springs

2-5 PM Directors/Leadership Meeting with Kate (see below)
Location to be announced later

Monday, October 3, 10-5
Songwriting Workshop
New This Year!!

In an ongoing effort to give you access to your inner songwriter, Kate is offering this songwriting workshop to Charter Members. It will be a daylong musical odyssey and will provide sessions for exploration, conversation, songwriting, processing feelings, giving and receiving loving feedback. Limited to 12.

"Graduation" for choir members ready to become bedside singers
Sunday morning, 10-12:30

If you have been a member of a choir for at least 6 months, know 50 songs in the cells of your body (no book), and feel that you are prepared emotionally and spiritually to begin singing at bedsides, please consider taking advantage of Kate's presence to "graduate." Simply express this readiness in a conversation with your choir director, and then contact Theresa Horan-Sapunar ( or 937-234-7464), director of the Yellow Springs choir, to be on the list. The ceremony is very simple and sweet and will be explained upon request.

Threshold Choir Directors'/Leadership Meeting with Kate Munger
Sunday, 2-5 PM

Kate realizes there are a number of choir directors in the Midwest who are brimming with questions and would welcome some concentrated time with her regarding the various aspects of leading a Threshold Choir. Bring all those questions and concerns, from musical to organizational to relationship with hospices and nursing homes to internal group dynamics, wherever you need some guidance and support.

This meeting is for women who are directors, those who serve in leadership roles, those who've been sent as representatives from their choir, or those interested in starting a Threshold Choir in their area.

Weekend Retreat registration fee of $30 (to cover hard costs of facility rental and Kate's travel) due by Sept 20. Cancellation with full refund by Sept 25. Late registration is $40.

Note: No woman will be turned away for an inability to pay the $30 registration fee. Please pay what you can afford, or pay an additional amount to help sponsor another participant.

Additional note: You will have an opportunity on the weekend to make a tax- deductible contribution to Kate and Threshold Choir, to show our heartfelt gratitude for the precious gift that she brings us.

Please return the registration page, along with your check (payable to Threshold Singers of Yellow Springs) to:
Phyllis Braun
1340 Rice Rd.
Yellow Springs OH 45387

Visit for more information, including ordering CDs, songbooks, and for information about choirs in your area.

For further information:

Phyllis Braun

For housing
Laurie Dreamspinner
(There are many options for housing at the retreat site and in private homes.)

For graduation information contact:
Theresa Horan-Sapunar

Note from Susan Gartner: The Threshold Choir is this incredible community/effort/experience that is multi-beneficial to all parties. When you are part of the choir, you are humbled at the power of the voice and the power of human compassion. When you are in transition, receiving the gift of the choir, it's uplifting and transforming. There is a local Threshold Choir chapter. This retreat is a great way to learn about the organization, learn some of the songs, meet fellow YS Threshold Choir members and choir members from all over the country, and get to know the woman who started it all. I highly recommend this retreat. Tell your mothers, sisters, friends.

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