In advance of its 50th anniversary next month, the Waterloo Regional Police Chorus recently recorded its first Christmas album at Gale Presbyterian Church in Elmira. They’ll be returning there later this month for a holiday concert.
“It’s kind of special to us. When we made our CD, we did a lot of work with famous tenor John McDermott and John has given us two of his songs to add to our CD this year. We hope that will help us with the sales for the Christmas CD,” said chorus manager Bob Brown.
While the CD is all traditional Christmas songs it does have a unique take on the classic carol O Holy Night, which is not an easy song to do, Brown noted.
“We did it kind of in a gospel fashion as well, so that was a bit of a change, but it sounds, quite great. It’s just the way we perform it is more [upbeat] as opposed to traditional. It’s gospel, so it’s kind of a more peppy [version],” he said.
“It’s a little more zip to it but kind of keeps everybody awake a little more, just gets you involved.”
The police chorus will also be performing a concert at Gale featuring songs from the new album. The chorus has a great relationship with Gale, Brown said.
“Gale church is like home to us. We get treated royally when we’re there.”
Proceeds from the concert will be donated to the St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation to help with the purchase of the new MRI machine for the hospital.
“Our goal is to support our community in any way we can. When we do concerts, they’re always geared toward our community and those in need. In particular, an MRI machine is something that is in high demand in the region,” Brown said.
Foundation president Susan Dusick says the new device is a high-priority for the hospital.
“There are about 2,500 outpatients right now that are waiting up to six months for an elective MRI scan. At St. Mary’s in particular, the reason it’s so important is that our cardiac patients who often need specialized MRI do not have access to that here at St. Mary’s, which means we have to transport those folks either to Cambridge Memorial or to Grand River [Hospital],” Dusick explained.
“We’re the only cardiac centre in the province of Ontario that doesn’t have an MRI machine, so we’re looking at getting our first-ever and Grand River is getting a second machine,” she said.
The total cost for the machine as well as its installation is $7.6 million, with the foundation having raised $6.9 million so far.
“We’re very honored to be the recipients of this [concert], and we’re grateful that something that’s so joyful will be supporting St. Mary’s. We’ll be supporting access to care because anytime we can provide additional access for folks to get care, that is a very joyful time. It’s kind of like a nice synergy between the two things,” Dusick added.
Gale church member Marilyn Coupal said it is important for the church to support efforts such as the MRI project.
“We feel our church needs to do things in our community and in our province and our country and internationally too. So this time it was chosen because of the dire need of an MRI machine at St. Mary’s,” she said.
The chorus concert is set for November 25 at 7 p.m. at the church on Barnswallow Drive. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under, and can be purchased by contacting the church office at 519-669-2852 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Extra donations are welcome, made payable to the St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation.