Sing Sankey returns to the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay.

Sing Sankey returns to support music therapy

On Wednesday, Nov. 8 Sing Sankey returns to the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay.

This heart-warming hymn sing-along will revive the classic hymns of the American gospel singer/composer Ira Sankey while raising funds for the Music Therapy program at The Views and Hospice at St. Joseph’s.

Attendees can expect an evening of singing (with lyrics provided), as well as Elvera Penner on the piano, Barb Tease on the marimba and the Comox Presbyterian Choir led by Al Penner, who will lead the audience in a selection of old favourites. Musical interludes will also feature a local bluegrass gospel band led by Earl Naswell.

Last year was Sing Sankey’s introduction to the Comox Valley and it was received warmly by the community. Organizers Diana and Chris Kutyn are hoping for an even more successful event that will help support music therapy while giving locals an opportunity to hear more about St. Joseph’s future developments, as well as ‘Mummy’s Village’, their Health Care Ministry in India.

“We are doing this, as before, in memory of my father who started this 30 years ago for the hospice movement in England; to unite the community while supporting Music Therapy at the Views and Hospice at the Views as it moves forward boldly into a new era in our community,” said Diana. “We are grateful to several local businesses and organizations who are also sponsoring the event.”

“Tell your friends, bring your voice and let’s raise the roof of the Sid once again to support this worthy program.”

The Music Therapy program brings enjoyment and tranquility to the 117 residents who call The Views at St. Joseph’s home, as well as to Hospice patients and their families, using singing, instruments and rhythm.

St. Joseph’s music therapist Nicole Burgess explains how music therapy benefits the residents and Hospice patients:

“Music therapy uses music purposefully within therapeutic relationships to support development, health and well-being,” she said. “We can use music safely and ethically to help promote healing and address human needs within cognitive, communicative, emotional, musical, social and spiritual domains.”

Music therapy at St. Joseph’s is partially funded by the Comox Valley Healthcare Foundation, which recently donated a Bandwagon mobile recording studio to residential care and hospice at The Views through Music Heals, as well as iPods and program funding to the music therapy program.

“Sing Sankey provides not only a very enjoyable evening for concert-goers, but also a fun way to fundraise for a wonderful program at St. Joseph’s that truly impacts the quality of life for residents and patients in Hospice,” said Lynn Dashkewytch, Executive Director of Comox Valley Healthcare Foundation.

“We are thankful to the Kutyn family for putting on this event and bringing the community together under one roof with multiple voices.”

Sing Sankey starts at 7 p.m. on Nov. 8 and is an all-ages show. Tickets are $15 and are available online at sidwilliamstheatre.com or at the Sid’s box office.

Please contact sponsors Grannies on the Go at 250-650 3301 if you need a ride to and from the theatre.

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