The power of music: Duluth choir brings awareness to Alzheimer’s

Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 10:50 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) -- One Duluth choir is using the power of music to bring awareness to a disease impacting many in the Northland.

Whether you use it to concentrate on a task or reduce stress, music is an impressive tool we use in our daily lives, including those who live with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

“People living with dementia are often more articulate, more able to relate,” said Candy Winkler, the Victory Chorus program director. “Singing just makes them come alive in a whole new way.”

“What music does to our brains is pretty incredible. It almost lights up our brains,” said Winkler.

Wanting to bring the spirit of song to those in the Northland living with cognitive diseases, Winkler took over as the Victory Chorus program director.

The Victory Chorus has grown to more than 50 singers who live with dementia.

“It just works, and music does that,” said Vicki Sanville, a Victory Chorus member.

Vicki, Barbara, and Linda have been friends for years, and when they heard about the chorus, they knew it would mean more than simply spending time together.

“My mom had Alzheimer’s years ago, and she would have loved a group like this,” said Barbara Stark, a Victory Chorus member.

The Victory Chorus allows the trio to make new memories while remembering the old ones.

“It’s just a joyous thing. It evokes so many childhood memories,” said Linda Crumpton, a Victory Chorus member.

Everyone who takes part in the choir wants to share their positive experiences with the community, and what better way to do that than through song?

The chorus will be hosting a “Celebration of Song” concert on Sunday, November 19 at 2 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Duluth.

Welcoming everyone to come out and make new friendships through music, and put an end to the stigma around dementia.

At the Celebration of Song concert, you’ll be able to hear classic tunes like “Twist and Shout” and “What a Wonderful World.”

Donations are also appreciated.

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