A few years ago, with the encouragement of a great friend, I joined a community choir, the You Gotta Sing! Chorus in Halifax, NS. There I could let my heart sing out loud without interrupting its innate impulse to express. Many times, standing in the back row with all these beautiful men and women voicing in harmony, tears of joy would flow down my face. Singing released tension and freed restrictions in my throat, jaw, and lips that I didn’t even know I had. My soul had a path to directly express itself in one uninterrupted movement, with passion, purpose, and wisdom.
Anne Bérubé, from her book - Be, Feel, Think, Do
"What a nourishing experience! Vanessa chose the perfect venue in which to immerse oneself in nature and song. She gently blended structure, flexibility and fellowship in singing and seasoned it with honour and joy! I can't wait to re-experience another weekend like this."
Paula Fredericks, Singing From The Well participant
"Spending a weekend singing is life affirming. Singing for joy, we open our hearts and are blessed with more joy and gratitude for life. We can all sing and Vanessa holds the space for all our voices to be heard and honoured."
Denise LeBlanc, Singing From The Well participant
"As someone who is relatively new to singing out loud in a group, the retreat offered me a safe, supportive and respectful place to discover my own unique voice. It was a great opportunity to just enjoy singing with others. We were surrounded by the beauty of nature and served delicious, nourishing food. It was an amazing experience and I'm hoping to go again next year. "
Jane MacNeill, Singing From The Well participant
"The music in our bodies can be hidden deep inside but does wish to come out and be present. Through this retreat, we can have an opportunity to invite our inner voices to celebrate with others through the singing of life affirming songs that energize and are joyous to sing and to share. It is a gift to give yourself a place in this precious circle."
Susan McEachern, Singing From The Well participant
"YGS is really a powerful agent for bringing out the best in community and in each of our lives. I can't thank you enough for your good humour, sharp wit, and boundless energy. Oh! And for your inspiring, soaring voice!"
Seth Levinson, Founder of The Big Sing and YGS member
This is exactly what I was looking for in a choir, Vanessa: the opportunity to learn and sing such a great variety of musical styles and songs. I am so glad I took the leap of faith and joined! It is such a great feeling not only to sing, but to sing with others who are having as much fun as I am. I really do feel joy when I sing, and have a lighter heart and spirit after practices. Thank you for providing such a relaxed, supportive choir environment for all of us…even those of us who are choir newbies. I sing the songs (out loud) while walking the dog, walking the halls at work, in the car, in the kitchen.
Sally, YGS member
Having been told I couldn’t sing at an early age, but always wanting to, I was thrilled to discover Vanessa and the YGS Chorus. Vanessa provides a safe haven for the musically insecure and experienced singers alike. Because of her skill in directing, expert teaching skills, personal warmth and joyous nature, she is able to bring diverse musical backgrounds together to sing with one voice. The fun-filled 90 minutes of practice have become one of the highlights of my week… and, finally, I am learning to sing.
JoAnn, YGS member
On behalf of our program and all the participants of Women's Conversation Group, I would like to thank you, Vanessa, for the beautiful session you gave us, the energy you brought to the group and the happiness you created for all of us! Our participants were very excited to sing in English as they are language learners - it is a great approach for language study! Patrons commented that they were happy to hear such a beautiful and professional sounding chorus at the library - they had no idea we were complete beginners!
Youmei Chen, Immigrant Services, Keshen Goodman Library
“What a beautiful night!!! We filled the room with our voices and I left with a full heart! What an amazing experience this was! Singing with all these incredible humans, working with Vanessa, the whole evening had a quality of magic to it.”