In 2014, Co-founders Mary Lenard and Marge Ostroushko were struck by recent discoveries about the powerful effects of music on the lives of people with dementia. Both had cared for parents with dementia and felt called to contribute their experiences and their energy to building a new program that enables people with dementia and their care partners to live better—with joy, with purpose, with friends, and with each other.
Mary and Marge partnered with MacPhail Center for Music and MacPhail teaching artist Jeanie Brindley-Barnett to launch the first Giving Voice chorus. Since that first chorus, Giving Voice has expanded to four choruses in the Twin Cities and launched a collaborative of more than 50 choruses internationally to promote the social, creative, emotional, and health benefits of choral singing for adults with Alzheimer’s and other forms of memory loss.
Today, Giving Voice supports choruses in diverse communities worldwide. It is our goal to start a movement that celebrates the potential of people with Alzheimer’s.