Atlantic Shores Retirement Community Vocal Groups Use Music for Therapy and Personal Expression
By: Atlantic Shores
The long tradition of resident musical groups began almost 23 years ago when Atlantic Shores first opened. Resident Dean Hatheway, who loved to sing in his Barber Shop Quartet, started the first group, Community Singing. They performed with no accompaniment, but with Dean leading songs with his harmonica. This group evolved into the Forget-Me-Notes, an a cappella group started in 2009 by resident Mike Ferguson, who led with skills learned in his church choir.
Today, the Atlantic Shores Chorus features 40 members ranging from those who sang in college and community choruses, to an 89 year-old Methodist minister who had never learned to read music. A smaller group, the Atlantic Shores Coastal Singers, does special performances inside and outside the community as a show choir.
The groups delight fellow residents throughout the year, with a season running from September through May, always ending with a popular Memorial Day concert. Performances for 250 guests are held in the community's beautiful Chesapeake Room. Special sing-along shows are created for Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day. Patriotic songs are featured in a special Veteran's Day celebration.
The Coastal Singers provide a very special welcome to new Atlantic Shores residents by performing at New Member's Tea events, and also entertain local church and civic groups at luncheons and meetings held at Atlantic Shores. The group also donates their time to perform for organizations in the area, like the Thoroughgood Ladies Music Club.
One of the most popular and rewarding ways this group uses its musical talents is by performing each month for residents at Harbourway, Atlantic Shores' assisted living facility. The interactive sing-along concerts are one of the most eagerly anticipated social events, and also serve as informal music therapy for the residents. According to Beth, "I'm a psychiatric nurse, so I know the value of music therapy. Many of these residents have physical disabilities or cognitive challenges. We're thrilled to bring music that brightens their souls."
For more information on Atlantic Shores, visit: www.atlanticshoresliving.com, or www.facebook.com/