WomenSing “Sing4Life” 

Choral program at the Cancer Support Community

A small choir of WomenSing’s current singers and alumna have been visiting the Cancer Support Community in Walnut Creek since September 2016. We sing together monthly with interested participants from the Support Community.  We enjoy our time together and are led enthusiastically by WomenSing members Jules Campbell on keyboards and Kathryn Schumacher, voice extraordinaire! There is time for trivia and additional comments provided by the participants. 

Our repertoire is compiled each month by Jules and Kathryn. Selections include all kinds of popular music, old and new—the sessions open with some light stretching, breathing, and rhythm exercises, as well as canons and rounds. Laughs and good times are shared, and we celebrate! We believe that singing is a life sport, and we enjoy getting to know the women (and an occasional man!) who attend each month.  Music makes a difference in our lives, and those of us who visit the Center each month look forward to a fun, lively afternoon!

How it all started

Sing4Life is an idea that was inspired after WomenSingers heard a fantastic lecture by Julene Johnson at the 2015 Chorus America Conference. Dr. Johnson is a professor and researcher at UCSF, and she lectures on the benefits of singing in-community for health and aging.  

We could not seem to let this information rest. Could we give this satisfying, health fostering experience of a choir to others with limited access? After many conversations and meetings, we came up with our program, Sing4Life, launched on September 13, 2016.  Many thanks are due to the wonderful Cancer Support Community in Walnut Creek who provided a perfect location and clientele for our successful pilot program!  The Center has classes for clients during their treatment and those newly diagnosed, which are also designed for the caregivers.

How it works

A small choir of well-trained and current WomenSing members and alumna under the direction of a song leader share the experience of a readymade choir to those who have little time or access to join such a group. We hold once a month sing-alongs, and the songs are chosen from the Music Educator’s Get America Singing Again, and the Great American Songbook, along with a salute to the Beatles and other personal song requests. And we always hear some interesting personal stories connected to our selections!

It is a privilege to get to know the growing number of people joining us. We look forward to the ongoing development and expansion of this program.