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Fundraisers help Loyalist choir keep going

Loyalist Community Choir

Loyalist College’s community choir. From left: Tara Henley, Chris Calwell, Jennifer Abrams, Pam Fairbank, Jodie Mercer, Ashley Clark, Kathy Keenan, Rose Robson, Ashlyn Patterson, Keri Kerby, Meaghan Pocknell, Mary Ellen Morris, Kaylea Moreau and Neil Kerby. Photo by Deanna Fraser, QNet News

By Deanna Fraser [1]

BELLEVILLE – Loyalist College’s community choir [2] would like to keep making music, but needs to keep raising money to do so.

A karaoke session by students in the Justice Studies program kickstarted the choir’s latest fundraiser on Wednesday afternoon:

Karaoke Fundraiser [3] from QNet News [4] on Vimeo [5].

The choir also prepared a variety of themed baskets to raffle. The themes included movies, music, junk food, student survival and beauty.

choir gift basket

Loyalist Community Choir raffled a variety of baskets Wednesday to Friday at lunch hour. Students and staff could buy a ticket for $2 or three tickets for $5. Winners will be picked Friday. Photo by Deanna Fraser, QNet News

Keri Kerby, the choir’s musical director, says the group needs to hold fundraisers to be able to make it through the year.

“Because we’re considered a club in the college we’re not funded by any means unless we apply for extra awards or grants or anything from student services,” Kerby told QNet News this week. “So we were running low, and we need to make it to graduation.” The money raised helps purchase sheet music and licensing.

Although the choir has no set goal in mind for this week’s basket raffle, Kerby said she hopes to see at least $500 raised.

The choir is made up of about 20 Loyalist students, alumni and staff members.

Choir member Mary-Ellen Morris, a graduate of the Developmental Service Worker [6] program, said the choir tries to do a fundraiser at least once a year. “We’ve done raffles before,” Morris said. “We’ve even gone door to door on residence to sell chocolate bars.”

Any donation helps, she said: “We’re happy to get anything to help out the choir.”

Mary-Ellen Morris

Choir member Mary-Ellen Morris took the stage at the Loyalist dining hall to perform Fight Song [7] during Wednesday’s fundraising event. Photo by Deanna Fraser, QNet News

Morris told QNet News she grew up singing.

“I always remember singing. I can’t even remember when I started.”

Her love for music came from her family, which has a musical background, she said. Her mother loves music, and her older sister is studying music at Lakehead University [8], she said

“I was raised around music. I’ve been in choirs since I was 10.”

Morris has been part of the Loyalist choir for the past four years. She loved her first day in the Loyalist choir, she said.

“I remember going in and them just being so inviting.”

If you’re looking to join the choir, it meets in Alumni Hall every Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. Interested people can just show up. No audition or experience are required.

“Everyone is welcome. We have people come in that have never in seen sheet music before. We just take it one step at a time,” said Kerby.

The repertoire covers a broad range of music.

“The choir members get a lot of voice in what we’re going to be singing,” Kerby said. “We sing anything from modern up-to-date music to Motown, to blues, to oldies, to Broadway –all these kinds of genres.”

Here’s the choir performing part of a medley of songs from Les Misérables [9] at a rehearsal this week:

http://www.qnetnews.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Singing-2-Copy.mp3 [10]