Purpose of Threshold Choir Repertoire
The repertoire of the Threshold Choir has been inspired by the call to soothe and comfort people at life’s end. Through years of singing at bedsides and seemingly limitless heart-wrenching thresholds, our songs have emerged, born from first-hand experiences of singers who tapped the muse to fill the need. These ‘pearls of song’ have resulted in this collection of unparalleled folk music that has defined its own unique niche in the genre of choral music. Some of the ways in which our beloved resource guides us are outlined here.
Offers Philosophical Guidance/Belief Statements
The Threshold Choir repertoire serves as a vehicle transporting salve for the soul, via song and spirit, for people who are dying or suffering through life’s challenges. It is a sacred and living touchstone, which connects our hearts and our service with the mission of the Threshold Choir, allowing us to transmit loving kindness through making kindness audible. By bringing comfort to those at life’s thresholds, the singers are also soothed through this circle of the ‘gift exchange’. Since the majority of the songs have been written by members, often inspired by specific bedside experiences, the messages are authentic and pure. The singing brings love and comfort, creating a bridge between an active life and the mystery beyond, and its echoes of deep, spiritual repetitive lyrics can be held in hearts long after singers have gone.
Provides Resources – tangible, practical, historical
Our repertoire establishes a unique collection in the world of music – a library of folk-type songs specific to the Threshold Choir mission of singing at the thresholds of life. It provides instruction and access to songs to those who want to serve by singing. The reservoir of resources includes song scores and audio learning files, composer information, and a spectrum of messages through beautiful songs composed to fit the nuanced life or end-of-life situations for which we sing. It serves as a vessel to hold—and honor—the musical creativity of songwriters who are inspired by their own bedside experiences.
Reflects Threshold Choir Culture and Fosters Community Connections
Our repertoire is the thread that renews and weaves members together, and is the language of our tribe. As we lift up people receiving our music, we are, in turn, comforted, and connect more deeply with one another. This common language, through song, unites us as a singing community, serving all who need us around the world, linking us through our service to members everywhere.
Reflects Diversity and Inclusivity Values
The Threshold Choir’s mission is to offer comforting song to everyone who requests it. We are committed to encouraging and supporting diversity in our membership and in the people we serve. While the majority of the songs in our repertoire are in English, we are working to expand our song offerings in other languages by translating existing songs—when feasible—and by adding songs that can more fully serve the residents of our respective communities. We honor and respect songs from all beliefs; religious and spiritual traditions. If questions remain about the appropriateness of a song offering, we encourage singers to ask a family member when the person receiving the songs is incapable of responding. When confirmation isn’t possible, singing “ooh” in place of song lyrics is a comforting option.
-Threshold Choir Repertoire Design and Preservation Team