The atrium of the Royale Retirement Residence in Kanata (Ottawa) was festively decorated and glittering with Christmas lights on December 8, 2014. Many of the residents were gathered waiting. In this annual event, the Cantiamo Girls Choir of Ottawa had come to sing Christmas carols for – and with – the residents.
This special night brought beautiful, choral, Christmas carols into the community for those who might not otherwise be able to attend a concert in town.
Many of the choristers find this concert to be the favorite of the season, as you can truly see the residents’ joy as they listen to the music. Once we have sung our repertoire from our annual Cantiamo Christmas Concert, then the most special part of the evening takes place. This is when each of us takes our music and spreads out amongst the audience. We share the lyrics and sing traditional Christmas carols with the residents. The elderly man I was sitting next to sang softly along to Silent Night. Possibly, he was thinking of past Christmas memories brought back by the music.
It is in this moment when singing with strangers and celebrating the holidays, that one can truly grasp the feeling of Christmas.
– Jessica F. Cantiamo Girls Choir chorister