Community Connection: Candy Winkler and The Victory Chorus
Since 2019, The Victory Chorus has been reaching out and bringing the joy of music to people living with dementia. Candy Winkler is the program director for Victory Chorus and has seen the deep impact that music can have on this community. "The value is immeasurable," says Winkler. "Music is literally magical for people living with dementia."
The music selected usually harkens back to when some of the chorus members were in their youth. "In our last session we sang Yellow Submarine," says Winkler. "It was a hit." The group incorporated kazoos into their rendition. "So many of the people in our choir with dementia have rich histories with music." The singing sessions wrap up with a social time that often spurs conversation and memories that might not have been in mind without the assistance of the music.
No professional music experience is necessary for volunteers, but a working knowledge of some classic tunes could prove helpful. “You don't have to be a special musician type person; you don't have to know how to read music” says Winkler. “You just need to love to sing and love people.”
If you’re interested in volunteering with The Victory Chorus, their next session of weekly musical visits begins in February. You can learn more at their website.