Chords, choirs, and chorales! It was a night of spectacular music and entertainment earlier this month as Dalhousie’s Faculty of Medicine came together for Music – The Best Medicine at Halifax’s Faith Tabernacle.
The concert was part of the Medical Humanities H.E.A.L.S. Program (Healing & Education through the Arts & Life-Skills), established more than 20 years ago to support an understanding of how the arts can make a huge difference in the lives of the very ill — and how the arts can contribute to improving their care and even their recovery. The program is comprised of many aspects, including music, dance, visual arts and more.
The concert was a showcase of the incredible talent that makes up the music aspect of the H.E.A.L.S. Program. Led by Bryan Crocker, the TJ Murray Musician in Residence of the Faculty of Medicine, the performances included The Dalhousie Health Professions’ Chorale and Ensembles, special guest Ann Elliot-Goldschmid and guests from DalMed New Brunswick, Heartbeat, and Ceol.
The show opened with the chorale, led by Bryan Crocker (associate conductor) and Fred Li (vocalist), singing a selection of classical and traditional pieces as well as songs from musicals. Next was an instrumental performance by Ann Elliot-Goldschmid, the evening’s special guest, who said, “It is such an honour to be playing here, and in memory of my mother who worked so hard for the program.” Joining her on the piano were Dr. Karen Mann and Dr. Alfhild Larsen.
After this came The Vocal Chords, a women’s a cappella group, singing more contemporary hits from Cher and John Lennon. They were then joined by the Testostertones to perform Mia Makaroff’s Butterfly. The Vocal Chords departed soon after leaving the Testostertones to perform a traditional sailors song as well as selections from The Lion King.
Ceol, the DalMed New Brunswick Ceilidh band, kicked off the second act with some riotous Celtic music, both traditional and contemporary. Director Dr. Wendy Stuart was full of quips and entertaining anecdotes and joked while trying to put on an accordion, “This is why you don’t take these things off.” Dr. Stuart also explained, “The band was formed in 2010 and has seen many members come and go over the years, but we have always had fun and will continue to do so!”
Next up was the DalMed New Brunswick Choir, Heartbeat, directed by Janet Kidd and accompanied by Marilyn Williams. Kidd explained, “The choir is made up mainly of first and second years, but occasionally a founding member or upper year student makes an appearance too.” They performed musical pieces from Oliver!, and The Sound of Music as well as contemporary pieces by Adele and Coldplay.
The evening concluded with a combined chorale performance with the groups singing No Time, a traditional camp song that was greeted with thunderous applause.
“It was so much fun,” one performer remarked. “It has been great to work with everyone and put something like this together.”
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