"FROM ONE VOICE, CAME MANY"
HOW IT ALL BEGAN...Told by Co-Director, Len McCulloch
I was working as a Psychotherapist in a Rehabilitation facility for people recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries when a unique patient came to our program. The man had spent the previous eighteen years in State Hospital. He was distinctive because we knew he could talk, but he wouldn't. One day, someone told me they had heard him singing! When I saw him next, I said "I know you don't like to talk but, can you sing?" He belted out a beautiful rendition of "Amazing Grace." I’m not sure why, but my response was, "We have a Choir now and you are it!" He and I met in my office and communicated by singing simple songs back and forth. After a while, he eventually began talking!
In the mean time, other patients heard our singing, asked me about the Choir, and joined. Soon, the Choir grew in numbers and gave our first public performance. It took place at a talent show held by the Brain Injury Association of Michigan at their Annual Conference. We sang 5 simple songs and wore borrowed choir robes from a local church. We didn't produce a musical masterpiece, but we were a hit with the crowd and were invited back on the spot to perform the following year.
Over the years, we have put on over 200+ FREE shows (please click here to see a list of some of our performance venues). We have performed for the entire Michigan Legislative body for 18 years in a row to kick-off March as Brain Injury Awareness Month and now the first week of March as TCM "Therapy Choir Awareness Week" promoting Choir Therapy in Michigan.
More recently, we began to take the Therapy Choir concept to the next level by forming our own Michigan 501 (c) 3 Non-Profit Organization, which we named The Therapy Choirs of Michigan.
We now have the following Therapy Choirs helping people with Special Needs: The Original Therapy Choir, headquartered in Farmington Hills, the Macomb Oakland Regional Center (MORC), headquartered in Auburn Hills, the Livingston County Therapy Choir, currently headquartered and donated by the 2-42 Community Center in Brighton, and soon a Therapy Choir in Wayne County, headquartered in Livonia.
March 2012, The Therapy Choirs of Michigan received a Proclamation from the State of Michigan, proclaiming the first week of March heceforth is TCM "Therapy Choir Awareness Week"in Michigan.
March 2014. The Therapy Choirs of Michigan received and was presented with National Recognition for the same.
Although we don't know what the future has in store, we know one thing: it will be exciting!