The Charlottesville Threshold Singers

Singing for Healing, Comfort, and Peace

FAQs about the Charlottesville Threshold Singers

Are there requirements for joining the Singers?

We don't have a formal audition process but we do try to maintain balance between the parts and the voices need to blend well in order for us to sing effectively. You should:

  • be able to carry a tune
  • be able to hold your own part (or sincerely want to learn to) while others sing harmony
  • be able to sing softly and blend your voice with others (or sincerely want to learn to),
  • be able to communicate kindness with your voice, and
  • be willing to use self-monitoring and accept peer feedback as we work together to bring the sweetest, most blended, and graceful sound to our precious clients

    When are rehearsals? Whom do you sing for? How often do you sing?

    Our rehearsals are most Wednesday evenings at a nursing home near Barracks Road and the Bypass, and occasionally in members' homes. We sing for patients of Hospice of the Piedmont and Legacy Hospice as well as others in the community who request our presence. We often sing to residents at the facility where we rehearse. Our "singing out" varies - sometimes twice in a week, other times once in a month. We understand that because of work schedules, family obligations and other commitments everyone can't sing every time, especially at the last minute.

    Must I be a member of the national organization?

    Yes. To sing for others, people must join the national organization. This benefits both you and the organization, since you will be covered by their insurance policy. Since members must be sponsored by local chapters, we will send in information and you will be contacted directly. Membership is easily completed on line. Annual dues are paid individually online in an amount that is, in the words of founder, Kate Munger, "generous, affordable and personally significant." The amount is left up to each singer. Benefits include not only insurance, but members-only access to the national website. Our local chapter also subsidizes purchase of the Threshold Choir songbook for members. Right now we have no local dues.

    What does the website offer? provides a history of the organization, music for singing (in a members-only section), links to nearly 200 other chapters and inspiring stories. Our local website at includes links to published articles about our chapter and You Tube links to some of our singing. One member's husband kindly serves as our webmaster.

    Do I have to pay for my music notebook?

    No, but if you decide to no longer sing with us, please come to one last meeting to bring it back and say farewell or contact someone about how to return it. Our librarian spends considerable time and effort creating the books.

    Do I need to contact someone if I cannot make a rehearsal?

    We don't take attendance. If you will be absent for several weeks, though, please let us know. Otherwise we'll worry about you.

    Anything else I should remember as a choir member?

    Some people are sensitive to fragrances and chemicals, so please don't wear perfumes or scented cosmetics when we are singing - even in rehearsals. These could affect both the singers and the people we sing for. Also, if you are ailing, it isn't brave to come and sing: it's inconsiderate. Stay home, be warm and keep your germs from others.

    What do we wear when we sing?

    Since we don't want to distract from our singing, we wear restful solid pastel colors - no patterns, no messages - in shades of blue to lavender to pink or white. Please, no florals, plaids, yellows, oranges, reds, or greens. We also avoid dark colors (especially black) at a bedside. Either a dress or a blouse with skirt or slacks is fine.

    How is the music chosen?

    We have a number of songs we consider our "core" selections. Many are from the Threshold Choir songbook and the password-protected music section of the national website. For bedside singing, singers should (at minimum) have most of our core songs memorized.

    Do the Singers have a fee for singing?

    No. Our singing is always a gift. However, donations are always welcome. Those wanting to make a tax-deductible donation may do so online or by check payable to Threshold Singers. We will forward the check to the main office and the donor will receive a receipt suitable for the IRS.

    Are there special rules about the people we sing for?

    Yes! We must absolutely observe privacy and confidentiality. This means we do not talk by name about an individual we have sung for, even if we are speaking with a person we know also knows the person.

    Are there rules in nursing homes or other places we sing?

    We only sing when a caretaker or family member is present or immediately available. If we see something we think is a problem with a patient, we bring it to their attention because we do not know the patient's situation. Also, we don't touch patients unless they make it clear they wish some contact such as a brief hand-holding (let the patient determine the pressure) or a gentle pat on the arm or shoulder. Please read the Memo on this topic which follows

    Memorandum to all Threshold SingersĀ® Directors and Members Concerning Our Limited Role at Bedsides

    Members of the Threshold Choir generally are guided by kindness and compassion when singing at bedsides. However, this means that we may be tempted to help in ways that go beyond singing when we are in someone's home, or are in an institutional setting, and the caregiver is not around. For example, we may be moved to offer the client water or to help shift him or her from a wheelchair to a bed if requested to do so. We must decline all such requests. If some harm should come to the client or to property through the actions of any individual Choir member while acting as a Choir member, both that person and the Threshold Choir (through principles of vicarious liability) may be exposed to civil liability for personal injury or property damage. The Threshold Choir does not, and cannot, represent itself to provide hospice or personal care while singing at bedsides (or otherwise). We do not have many "rules" for Choir members, but these two should be considered inflexible:
    1. Let the client and caregiver know, in making the arrangements to sing at a bedside, that you will be there only to sing. And then just sing.
    2. While you are with the client, the caregiver must be available at all times to assist with any needs the client may have. This also should be arranged in advance.

    When singing at bedsides as Choir members, even those of you who are trained medical professionals or hospice volunteers must observe these rules unless the client is your own family member. If you have any questions about this memo, please feel free to contact me.

    Thank you for understanding.

    Kate Munger, Founder and Director
    Copyright 2010-2018 The Charlottesville Threshold Singers