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Choral Singing: A New Approach for Speech & Voice Disorders in Parkinson’s Disease

Direction by Joseph Caulkins, Key Chorale
Accompaniment by Lee Dougherty Ross, Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota
Therapeutic Oversight by Southeastern Center for Parkinson’s Disease

Off-Key Chorale is a partnership with the Neuro Challenge Foundation, Inc., Key Chorale of Sarasota and Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota with the support of the Sarasota Memorial Institute for Advanced Medicine (IFAM).

This choral group is comprised of people living with Parkinson’s, family members, caregivers, and volunteer singers from Key Chorale.

They meet in each week at the Institute for Advanced Medicine in the group exercise room of Sarasota Memorial HealthFit. Led by Artistic Director, Joseph Caulkins, the Off-Key Chorale provides an opportunity for individuals with Parkinson’s disease to improve and strengthen their voices through singing, and provides a fellowship activity for people whose social opportunities are often limited by this disease.

Neuro Challenge Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of people with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers through service, education and research. To learn more please visit their website at ParkinsonsNeuroChallenge.org

The Observer Group’s Nick Friedman wrote a wonderful article about “Off-Key” Chorale, click to read “Off Key Chorale’s Healing Voices”

Click here to listen to the beautiful voices of Off-Key Chorale.

If you would like to be a part of this wonderful group please join us at one of our rehearsals on Tuesdays from 1:45PM – 2:45PM.
Location: HealthFit Group Exercise Room, 5880 Rand Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34238


Mountaintop Experience in Southwest Florida

By Joseph Caulkins

I’ve been fortunate in my life to have had many mountaintop experiences from standing atop Grand Teton in Wyoming to the snowy summit of Europe’s 15,578-foot Mont Blanc. Surprisingly, my most recent mountaintop experience didn’t come surrounded by jagged rocky pinnacles, but instead in an unassuming exercise room at the end of a long hallway in the Sarasota Memorial Institute For Advanced Medicine.

Once a week as the sweaty stretch class exits, volunteers rush to set chairs, bring in a keyboard and music stands and within minutes the exercise room is transformed into a rehearsal hall. The 40 seats are quickly filled as singers from all over the county take their places knowing what most choirs do; there is something magical, something empowering, when one voice joins another. Suddenly the sum is greater than the individual parts, and we are better for the effort, the experience, and just the plain fun of it. Read the full essay