New All Abilities Choir creates environment for musical joy


The list of opportunities to get involved artistically in Bloomington seems never-ending, combining many choirs, orchestras, performance troupes and more. Now there is a new choir forming here in Bloomington with an exciting and reinventive mission.

The All Abilities Choir is the newest venture by LIFEDesigns, a local company focused on creating opportunities for independence for people with disabilities. The choir is modeled around uniting a diverse set of people with and without disabilities and using music as a positive, connecting force.

“It is a lot of fun to be in a choir," All Abilities Choir co-director Jake May said. "One of the best things is just being together and bonding as a group.”

May said he is passionate about performing and has been eager to start a music-centered group at LIFEDesigns for quite some time. 

There was a sense of togetherness prominent from the very first callout meeting, May said, with many potential members bonding as they brainstormed music selections and envisioned community performance opportunities.

According to the LIFEDesigns website, “Everyone deserves the opportunity to live in their own home, work in the community, and meet and make friends.”

For many people, music can act as a vessel for community, friendship and personal development.  

High school can foster strong artistic communities such as theater troupes, show choirs and marching bands. However, some people lose their connection to these communities as they grow older.

The All Abilities Choir aspires to keep this juvenile excitement alive, allowing people of all backgrounds to come together and celebrate their individual passions and musical experiences.

In the name LIFEDesigns, “LIFE” stands for leadership, innovation, foundation and excellenceaccording to the organization's website. These principles act as foundations for the company’s programs as they promote opportunities for independence through different programs and staff supports.

“We are all about fun here,” LIFEDesigns community engagement coordinatorKristen King said, said at the callout meeting.

The All Abilities Choir is planning performances at the LIFEDesigns talent show and Winter Holiday Celebration, and as the choir continues to develop, hopefully at LIFEDesigns fundraisers and community events as well. The choir will be meeting regularly every other Wednesday, with the first official rehearsal scheduled for July 31.

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