Archive | November 2013

Compassionate Singing Class

A 12-week class for women who want to bring comfort through song to those at life’s thresholds, this course teaches participants everything they need to know to qualify as bedside singers with Bellingham Threshold Singers. Singing experience and ability to read music are not required.

Class meets Tuesday evenings, 6:30–8:30, from September 16 through November 25, 2014, at Jerns Chapel, 800 E Sunset, Bellingham. $60 fee for the class  (suggested donation) includes sheet music and a practice CD. Scholarships are available. Info & registration: 360-927-4384.

For additional information, click here.

This entry was posted on November 18, 2013.

BTS News – November 2013


We have been asked to sing at the Alzheimer Foundation’s Candle-Lighting Memorial event, Thursday, Nov. 14, 5:30 – 7:30 pm,at the boathouse at Squalicum Harbor. We are honored to participate in this event.


We will be making a presentation at the Blaine Senior Center, Nov. 21, 11:45 am. Nancy will anchor. This follows on the heels of our presentations to the Sumas and Lynden Senior Centers, where we spoke about our service and demonstrated our singing around a reclining chair for a lucky volunteer! Our upcoming presentation in Blaine will be open to the public. The address of the Senior Center is 763 G St, Blaine, WA 98230. Phone: (360) 332-8040.


BTS will be offering a 12-week class in Compassionate Singing for women who may want to join us as singers. Topics to be covered include singing techniques for the bedside, hand signals used at the bedside, 20 songs every threshold singer should know, death and dying, dementia, staying present and grounded at the bedside, and much more — everything you need to know to join us as bedside singers at the end. The class will meet on Tuesdays, Jan. 21 – Apr. 8, 6:30-8:30 pm at Jerns Chapel (corner of Sunset and James in Bellingham). Cost: $60 (requested donation), includes sheet music and CD. Enrollment is limited to 12. To register or for more information, call Janis at 360-927-4384.


Tuesdays, Nov. 12, 26, Dec. 10, 6:30-8:30 pm, Jerns Chapel

While family holidays and celebrations abound, we are rehearsing only once in December, on Tuesday night the 10th. Rehearsals begin promptly at 6:30 pm and go for 2 hours. Jerns Funeral Chapel is continuing their generous gift of allowing BTS to hold rehearsals for free in their spacious family room. We are so grateful! In January we will return to our regular schedule of rehearsals on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. Rehearsals are open to the public.


We’ve recently had the gift of an updated, readable collection – lyrics and music included in our favored keys – of our BTS core songs made available for every singing member of BTS. This has transformed some nearly illegible music, hand-scrawled and recopied several times, into professional-looking songs, complete with changes to reflect the way we actually sing them. Thanks to Whatcom Educational Credit Union for a grant that made this endeavor possible.

We also hope to offer – soon! – a practice CD with all our core songs, so singers can learn and practice by listening. Reading music is a helpful tool but is not necessary to become a skilled singer who offers her compassionate voice at the bedside!

Sylvia has volunteered to be our new music librarian. This is much appreciated, since we haven’t had a music librarian for awhile.


The Crow’s nest has accepted Diana Campbell as a new member of the leadership group, to take April’s place. Diana has a wealth of experience that is needed by BTS to become more administratively efficient and better able to meet the needs of BTS itself and to help present ourselves in the community. We are no longer an informal, little group–we have become larger, and have been taking on greater responsibility to meet our mission of providing comforting song to those who need it.

Although Diana is not a singer, she has had experience sitting with dying relatives and is a trained hospice volunteer, so she is very in tune with our mission. We are confident that she will round out the crow’s nest nicely and be a great asset to BTS.


Give back during the Holidays: shop through Goodshop and once you have selected BTS as your charity, with every gift you buy – we’ll automatically earn donations! Check it out:

Also, we now have a Donation button on our website (on the Donation page) so gifts can be made using PayPal or a credit card.


At our annual general meeting on October 29, we celebrated all that we’ve done since the end of October 2012. We made presentations to the public at the Sumas and Lynden Senior Centers. We had a booth at Senior Day in the Park at Hovander, and also at the Alzheimer Conference and the Holiday Craft Fair at the hospital. We participated in the Human Race and held a garage sale. We have also purchased magnetic signs for members’ cars and had new cards printed.

Through these and other means, we have been successful in letting the community know about our service. So far in 2013 we have sung for ill or dying people 370 times. Our average of 37 times per month is twice what it was last year at this time.

We have continued our partnership with the Whatcom Volunteer Center and have gotten a few new members through it. We have also sent a flyer to area churches seeking new singers and other volunteers.

Training our volunteers remains a high priority. In the past year we sent one of our members to the International Threshold Choir gathering in California and another member to the local Threshold Choir retreat on Vashon Island. We provided subsidies for 5 of our singers to attend the Alzheimer conference and we showed videos by Teepa Snow on dementia care to our members. (If anyone in your life has dementia, check out Teepa Snow on Youtube.) We sponsored a workshop by Miriam Fein on the healing power of silence, which was open to the public.

We have had 2 guest directors, Jan Alexander from the Vancouver Threshold Choir and Robin Rose from the Seattle Threshold Choir, to lead our rehearsals and share their expertise with us. We have done our own trainings for anchors (lead singers) and sails (supporting singers), which has resulted in a new anchor (Nancy Kaye) and 2 new sails (Kelly Bachman and Janis Walworth).

Our treasurer reported that our financial health is good. We made a few hundred dollars from our garage sale and a little from the Human Race. Also our donations from non-members have increased.

This entry was posted on November 9, 2013.