Griffin Hospital is seeking singers
of all skill levels to help bring a little holiday “soul” to the Naugatuck
Valley this winter and build bridges for good health in the community.
This year’s Griffin Hospital Annual
Holiday Concert will be entitled “Soul in the Valley,” featuring a gospel choir
of volunteer singers from throughout the Valley under the direction by Angela
Clemmons, a professional singer for more than 35 years and director of the
acclaimed “Shoreline Soul” performances in Madison, CT.
The idea for the community choir
came to Griffin Hospital President and CEO Patrick Charmel after he watched a
performance by Shoreline Soul this year. Charmel was amazed by how volunteer
singers from churches and organizations throughout the state’s shoreline area
were able to work together to produce an inspiring and unforgettable
Charmel believes a Valley version
of the community choir will not only make for a unique and moving show, but
will also help build and strengthen partnerships that will improve the health
of the region.
Griffin is leading the transition of
hospitals in the state from a volume based “sick care” system to a value based
health care system that rewards more effective preventive and primary care,
chronic disease management, care coordination and health status improvement of
its local community. To be successful, Griffin needs to help address the social
determinants of health in its community, such as quality of housing, job skills
and employment, food security, transposition, and social support, which
requires building a close working relationship with community based
organizations and agencies, schools and churches.
Clergy from Valley churches and synagogues
have already created a working group to develop a plan to address community
health needs, and Charmel sees the Soul in the Valley choir as a wonderful way
to bring the community support organizations closer together as they work on
this common mission.
“We’re excited to host the choir
workshops with our neighbors and members of the churches and faith groups,
organizations, and businesses throughout lower Naugatuck Valley. This will be a
wonderful way to build unity, help establish relationships and create greater
cultural sensitivity, which are necessary for improving the health and
well-being of our community,” Charmel said.
The volunteer singers will take
part in five, two-hour workshops, culminating in a hand-clapping,
foot-stomping, this-couldn’t-possibly-be-Naugatuck-Valley concert of
traditional and contemporary gospel and holiday music on Dec. 14.
“Our weekly sessions are upbeat,
fun and very user-friendly,” Clemmons said, “No one needs to know how to read
music. All songs are taught by ear and everyone is given a practice CD. It’s
amazing how much the choir learns and how confident they become in five short
weeks, particularly when many have never sung gospel before.”
The training sessions will be Nov.
1, 8, 15, and 29, and Dec. 6 from 6:45-8:45 p.m. at Assumption Church in
Volunteers will be asked for a $20
donation to TEAM, Inc. As a provider of services that address the needs of the
very young to the very old, and its focus on coordinating with other area
services to provide the greatest levels of service, TEAM is seen as perfect
beneficiary of the community choir project. TEAM programs reach over 14,000
individuals each year through programs that offer assistance for education and
youth, elderly assistance, home heating assistance, housing assistance, financial
assistance, and support community and neighborhood needs.
To register or for more
information, contact Clemmons at 203-619-1415 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although the workshop is primarily for adults, youth who are able to follow a
lyric sheet are welcome to participate.
Griffin’s Annual Holiday Concert is
sponsored by the President’s Fund at Griffin Hospital as a thank you to
Griffin’s sponsors and the community, and as a celebration of Griffin’s family
of employees, medical staff, volunteers, corporators, and trustees for their
dedication, compassion and expertise.
Donations for TEAM, Inc. will also be accepted
at the concert.