BTS News — September 2016

All the news from BTS:

Numbers. Our total number of sings for the first 8 months of this year is 214. That includes regular weekly visits to Hospice House, and every other week visits to Stafholt in Blaine, St. Joseph’s Rehabilitation, and St Francis. In other words, we have been out sharing love and comfort. We started singing at St Joseph’s Rehab Unit almost a year ago, not knowing whether it would really be a good fit for us. Now we can say it has been a wonderful experience for us, and the people there we’ve sung to have responded very well to our singing.

General Discussion Meeting. There are some issues we feel the entire choir should have the opportunity to discuss and voice their opinion about. And there’s not enough time at our annual meeting to do justice to the complexity of these topics. We decided to hold addition general meetings for the purpose of discussing important issues. We have chosen to discuss the quality of our bedside singing in October. Is it good enough? What areas do we need to improve in?  What is the best way to do that? Whose responsibility is it to assure our quality? As a choir with shared leadership (member volunteers serve as rehearsal directors), we feel it is important to agree on standards and how they are implemented.

BTS is hosting the 9th Pacific Northwest Gathering in Leavenworth October 14-16. About 80 women have registered, representing more than 25 choirs and cities. Workshops on the art of bedside singing, death and dying, vocal technique,  and other topics have been scheduled so we can share our individual and choir’s knowledge with each other.  And there are several inclusive singing sessions–all voices singing together harmoniously.  It is an inspiring and unifying experience.

Pet Memorial Service. We were invited to sing at the Floating Lantern Pet Memorial Sept. 11 at Bloedel-Donovan.  Seven of us sang Dear One, We Walk (in this case, Sail) not into the Night, and Deep Peace as  about 70 floating LED-lit lanterns were released into Lake Whatcom by people wanting to memorialize their pets. A moving evening.

Compassionate Singing Class. Six members of BTS completed the latest Class in August. Several of them are looking forward to becoming active Sails, helping to meet the needs of people wanting our services.

Threshold Choir International gathered in Chicago at the end of June. Mathilda Wheeler and April Boyden represented BTS, bringing back new insights and ideas to share. BTS is always seeking to improve, and these conferences are essential to that end. April is on the Board of TCI.

May’s Art Show. It has been agreed that the show was successful and fun!  Sponsored by Trish Harding’s Studio 51 on Bay Street, the event featured Southside Jazz Trio, performances by BTS, a wine wall, finger food refreshments, and art works by contributing artists. Trish Harding contributed a lovely landscape painting for raffling. More than 50 people came to support BTS and celebrate its winning of a Mayor’s Art Award. We raised over $1000 to help us meet our ongoing expenses. Thank you to all.


To relieve distress, pain, or anxiety

with comforting song offered to individuals

who are struggling to live or struggling to die;

to bring ease and peace at life’s thresholds.

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