By Ally Morrison
The choral group from Canterbury United Methodist Church’s respite program will be taking to the stage June 7 for a concert to benefit the Ukrainian community.
Patti Williams has been the Encore Community Respite Program director for nearly six years and said she is thrilled to finally be able to present the Side by Side Community Chorus on stage at Canterbury UMC.
The Encore program gives those with memory loss a four-hour program that includes daily topics, exercise, art and, you guessed it, singing.
“Side by Side was established because we sing every day in Encore,” Williams said. “Having a community choral group has been something I’ve wanted to do for years.”
The choral group includes adults in the program, primarily senior adults living with dementia, their care partners, Encore volunteers and others in the community who love to sing.
“Side by Side gives people something to do with a family member, without being stuck at home,” Williams said. “It’s a creative thing to be able to do together. To make a difference together, to do it for a cause.”
The benefit concert will be free to attend, but Canterbury will accept donations during the show.
“Through the United Methodist Committee on Relief, the Methodist church has the ability to do all sorts of relief efforts throughout the world,” Williams said. “Canterbury has a contact with feet on the ground in Ukraine. The money will go directly towards helping people in need.”
While this is the first time Canterbury has offered the community chorus, Williams hopes to do it again in the fall.
“This offers major socialization to many people,” Williams said.
Side by Side welcomes anyone living with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or any form of dementia who can attend structured weekly rehearsals.
Membership in Encore is not required.
For more information about the Side by Side Chorus or Encore Respite, contact Patti Williams at 205- 874-1525.