Stories from the Chorus
Donna and Judy
Dave Nimmer recently wrote a feature article in Minnesota Good Age. His profile of Giving Voice offers a beautiful story about Donna Snetting and Judy McCool.
“Three of my good friends — old friends — have had or have Alzheimer’s or some form of dementia. One has died, two are still alive and all have been an important part of my life — and remain so. It’s been an honor to be with them.
What I’ve learned is that the disease, though powerful, isn’t able to steal who they are: We can still roll soul-to-soul and tell the stories that have enriched and informed our lives”…
… “When she sings in the chorus, Donna Snetting is much more than a statistic. She and her sister/caregiver, Judy McCool, both of Prior Lake, find the experience rewarding and affirming. ‘I love that the people we are surrounded by are really serious about the music,’ Snetting said.”
Jean and John
It only took a second for John to answer the question about what he likes best about Giving Voice Chorus: “Wonderful director. Just wonderful.” While it was difficult for him to say much more, his wife, Jean, explained, as he nodded his head in agreement: “Jeanie has so much energy. She reaches us in amazing ways.”
Jean says it was a joy to be together—to sing together. “It was 100% beneficial.”
While John’s memory was fading, he always knew that Wednesday was chorus day. “His memory was always clear about the chorus. And he could remember lyrics.”
Growing up, Jean says she was the one in her family who couldn’t sing. Now, under the guidance of Giving Voice, she has developed her talents. “My brother recently said, “Jean, you can really sing!’ What a thrill that was.”
Jean and John found a new community at Giving Voice, a place they could be themselves and feel accepted and welcomed. “This was the best part of our week,” she says. “Absolutely.”
John passed away in September 2016. His voice is deeply missed.