Carols could be heard ringing up and down the hallways of the Victoria and Centennial buildings at the VG site of the QEII Health Sciences Centre Friday morning as the Capital Health choir took part in its annual Christmas tradition of singing to patients and staff.
“Obviously it’s hard for people to be in the hospital during the holidays,” said Brian Taylor, a project officer with Cancer Care Nova Scotia and two-year choir member. “This can bring a bit of happiness to people and remind them that Christmas is a happy time and they can still have happy moments, even in the hospital.”
The choir, made up of volunteers from Capital Health and its health care partners, was started several years ago by CEO Chris Power, who continues to direct the choir today.
“I’ve been in choirs since I was seven years old,” said Power, describing her love of music. “We’ve been singing at Christmas for at least five years now; it is a really uplifting feeling.”
The group travelled the hallways, song sheets in hand, singing a variety of carols. Wide smiles could be seen on the faces of patients, family members and staff as they poked their heads into the hallways to enjoy the festive tunes.
“This is really special,” said Michelle Jensen, a staff member who had come to her office door to listen to the group. As a social worker with the Dialysis unit, Jensen has seen the group perform in the past. “It just means so much to people,” she said, tears visible in her eyes. “I’m so glad they do this.”
Singing continued on elevator trips between floors, which lead - on more than once occasion - to a few lucky elevator passengers being treated to their own private concert. Similar to the hallways, smiles broadened on faces of the listeners almost immediately.
Some staff members even joined the choir as it made its way through the halls.
And as the choir continued on its way, it was obvious the group had left a lasting effect on those who had heard their songs.
“That was just great”, said the family member of a patient as he watched the choir exit the hallway. “It was exactly what I needed.”