Choir at Sudbury long-term care home hopes to put a little love in your heart
SUDBURY -- There is something you might not know about the talented musician who leads the Canadian rock band JoPo & The Rise from Sudbury, Ont.
JoPo also directs a seniors' choir at the Pioneer Manor long-term care home.
She says one of the main jobs as a Life Enrichment worker in the therapy services department is to cover the social, emotional, physical and cognitive aspect and programming for the residents' well-being.
Every Wednesday, for nearly the last seven years, JoPo runs a 25-piece choir, but due to the lockdown and global pandemic, the group has been unable to meet.
"Choir members are very sad because there is not much going on. We’re not doing small or large group programs and so I thought 'what can we do?'" said JoPo.
After thinking about it, she decided to make a music video ensuring that safety measures and physical distancing were followed.
She said the idea was a hit with her crew and once she got permission from the city and management they were ready to get started. They went all out to make it a really special experience.
"One thing that they were really excited about too was they haven't had their hair or makeup done in a long time. So, you know, some of the therapy staff, like Sandy and Bev and stuff, they all helped me get their hair done, their makeup done, get their best clothes on. So, that was a real fun experience all around," said JoPo.
When she was thinking about song selection, she said: "one just kept popping out at me." And the song was "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" by Jackie DeShannon.
"Not only are we putting love into our residents' hearts, but also our staff, to get the staff morale up. Our families, because we do FaceTime with the family members with the residents, but, just, you know, a nice little video to put the love in everybody's hearts right now," said JoPo.
After several weeks in the making and 45 hours of editing, the music video features 52 people, including 25 choir members and one worker from almost every department, singing along and dancing to the feel-good song.
The video was released on Monday and as of Friday afternoon, it has already attracted over 9,500 of views on the group's new YouTube channel, The Pioneers Choir.
JoPo has some tips for anyone out there interested in creating their own video project.
"Well, definitely, you have to get consent forms, consent forms for the residents. Make sure you can get the go-ahead through your management and everyone up above. And yeah, I would just say 'have fun with it,' pick a great song; make sure you dedicate the song to the original artist," said JoPo.
She also said she spent time with the performers making sure they knew their lines.
When asked if there is another video in the works, she said: "it was a great experience, I would love to do it again, but it won't be happening for a little while that's for sure."