News Story

Musical Service Brings Joy

Believing that service is essential and that music is important for health and well-being, several members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Halifax, Nova Scotia, are giving freely of their time to provide musical service in their community.

Karen Morrison and Melissa O’Connor of the Dartmouth Ward (congregation) are the director and pianist for a special seniors choir that rehearses in the Dartmouth Seniors Centre and performs three or four concerts a year.

Marion Reid is the music librarian for the choir and has been a choir member for 13 years. “I plan my whole week around choir," says Reid. "It is rewarding to see the enjoyment on the faces in the audience when we do a concert. In June, we performed a concert called ‘O Canada’ to celebrate our country’s sesquicentennial. We love working with Karen and Melissa.”

Bill and Alice Green moved to Dartmouth from Newfoundland when Alice’s mother’s health required it. In doing so, they simply moved their musical service from one province to another. Bill plays guitar and Alice accompanies him on piano. They give a concert twice a month for the residents of Oakwood Terrace, a continuing care home in the city.

Hidden Treasures is a small band composed of five men from three different Church wards — Dartmouth, Halifax and Cole Harbour — and a brother to one of the men. They sing and play a variety of instruments, but mainly guitar and drums. They perform at several continuing care homes throughout the city as time permits. They recently performed at Cameron Hall in Halifax on the birthday of one of their fathers. One 91-year-old female resident “danced up a storm,” but most were content to enjoy the music sitting down.

The Ukulele Ladies are six Mormons from the Dartmouth congregation. On the fourth Wednesday of every month, they play in Lewis Hall, another continuing care facility. One of their daughters plays the ocarina between ukulele sets. The Ukulele Ladies play the oldies, such as “You Are My Sunshine” and “Mocking Bird Hill.” The residents have short-term memory challenges, but most can sing along. One evening a man stood up during a break and exclaimed, “This is wonderful. These are all the songs we sang around the campfire when we were young. It is good to see them still being sung with the same enthusiasm.”

Mormons try to follow the example of Jesus Christ, who “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). They are motivated by these words in the Book of Mormon: “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17); and these words from the Bible: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40). Sharing their talents through music is service to God and enriches the lives of both givers and receivers.

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