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Inspirational special-needs choir gears up for spring concert

VOJ Voices of Joy choir members come from all over Bradford West Gwillimbury and York Region
2019-05-10-voj voices of joy
The VOJ Voices of Joy celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. They are led by Aurora Conductor James Brown. They will be performing Sunday, June 9 at Bethel CRC Church in Newmarket. Submitted photo

The inspirational VOJ Voices of Joy Community Choir is Celebrating Spring with a ‘Thank You For The Music’ concert on Sunday, June 9 at 3 p.m. at Bethel Community Christian Reformed Church, 333 Davis Drive, Newmarket.

The VOJ Voices of Joy Choir is an inclusive musical community. All are welcome in the choir regardless of ability or training. The choir was formed in 1998 through the inspiration of the late Linda Middlebrook, who was its first conductor. Twenty-one years ago the choir met for the joy of singing. Over its time together the members of VOJ have become ambassadors for people with special needs giving them an opportunity to participate in their community in a meaningful and socially valued role.

Concerts and practices create opportunities for individuals to develop self-worth and self-respect. Choir members are able to perform and feel proud of their accomplishments. In allowing people the freedom to sing in any way they can, to be encouraged and applauded for their efforts, in an environment of unconditional love, growth and happiness results. The choir is a family who supports each other, and members have become good friends. You can't beat that!!

The choir performs two fundraising concerts a year, one at Christmas time and one at the end of the season. The choir is invited to sing at approximately three venues in the community each year for an honorarium,

This wonderful choir is lead by the enthusiastic Conductor James Brown, who is an Aurora-based conductor, composer, and pianist. James first began working with VOJ Voices of Joy in 2017, and has continuously been inspired by the unbridled joy and enthusiasm with which the choir makes music.

James has his Bachelor of Music from Queen’s University and runs his studio of singing, piano, and theory students in Aurora.

The choir has about 50 members and rehearses weekly at Bethel Christian Reformed Community Church. Members come from all over York Region and Bradford West Gwillimbury. The choir will be singing a wide range and genre of music, from theatrical musicals, to folk to even some spiritual. Don’t miss this special event!

Bethel Church holds up to 400 people and any money raised is used by the choir, for things such as singing lessons, hall rentals, and general expenses of running a choir. The choir members meet every Monday night from September until June at Bethel Church. The choir has a dedicated group of volunteers, and are very thankful for the support of local sponsors and advertisers whose financial gifts are invaluable.

A free-will offering will be taken. For more information, contact a member of the VOJ Voices of Joy, or phone Joanne in Aurora at 905-727-3290 or Janet in Bradford at 905-775-8821. Light refreshments will be served after the concert.

Don’t miss this Celebration of Spring – ‘Thank You For The Music’ – which is sure to inspire you and be a memorable affair of the heart.


Submitted by Rod Urquhart.