The healing power of music

The Ventura Choraliers sing their souls out to inspire and give musical pleasure to all. Photo by Michael Gordon

by Karen Leslie, writer with heart

Ventura’s best kept secret isn’t a secret anymore! The Ventura Choraliers, a choir with heart, sings their souls out to inspire and give musical pleasure to retirement communities. These second half of lifers from 40 to 90 + years young are a unique blend of savvy, gumption and talent! The choir member’s gift of voice and song raises spirits, brings fun to the moment, plucks the heartstrings and brings out the best in people. During performances, audiences tap their feet and are reminded of a time when they danced to the melody and tune of their lives so long ago. The classic songs from Rag Time to Patriotic to Show Tunes and Christmas Carols put smiles on faces from ear to ear and evoke the light of remembering… The–Good-Old-Days!

Pianist, choir master and original director of the Ventura Choraliers, Barbara Reed, tickles the ivories and you’re fancy like nobody’s business! She shares, “My love of music has always guided me! I enjoy directing and singing and wanted a group that would not only sing but have a feeling of love and fellowship. While performing, I love the joy I see in people’s eyes and the joy we give to others. Music is especially “medicinal” when we perform for our “memory care” audiences. I can see their eyes light up as soon as we start to play.”

The history of the Ventura Choraliers is an inspiring one; it started in the spring of 2004 with Mrs. Orianna Povar’s vision and great desire to form a chorus in Ventura that would not only sing and perform, but also would have a feeling of love for each other. Several years ago, the chorus was honored and awarded at the Ventura City Hall for their extensive volunteering. In 2007, they took part in two musicals, “The Big River” and “My Fair Lady” and now have become a part of VACE (Ventura Adult and Continuing Education) where they rehearse every Tuesday.

Grace Gary, 100 years shares, “Music is so healing and I enjoy the “working together” morale!

Original member Betty White shares, “I like to sing so I attended the first day when the choir was called “The Sing Thing” and enjoyed it so much I decided to continue. It has been a pleasure and joy to entertain many people at churches, clubs and senior facilities.”

Jim Fisk shares, “After not singing for 5+ years, joining the Choraliers reignited my interest once again. It is fun, good company and I find at 80+ years, I still have good vocal production.”

Bob Crandell cheerfully says, “I like to sing! Sometimes my cats and dogs go crazy! I came to the Choraliers to learn to do better.”

Event Scheduler and Organizer Kevin Doyle shares, “While looking and not finding a vocal coach, I found a flyer on my kitchen table about a singing group that said they rehearsed from 2:00pm-4:30-pm. OMG, it was 3pm and I thought what the heck! I drove over and never stopped going back. That was 4 years ago. I was looking for something for myself and I ended up in a group that never stops giving to others.”

Elaine Keller enthusiastically says, “VC is lots of fun, lots of laughter and is the greatest therapy!”

New member Delores Ramerez shares, “The Choraliers are the highlight of my week! I like that we bring music to groups and rest homes and best of all I’ve gained about 20 new friends. Who could ask for more!

Sing on Choraliers! New members are welcomed!

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