Singing with Parkinson’s Chorus: Choosing to Sing Together to Enhance Their Voices

Singing With Parkinson's Chorus

For individuals with Parkinson’s disease, who often face challenges with speech and the power of their voice, strengthening their voice is key. Surprisingly, the enjoyable activity of singing offers hope.

In our community, it was evident that individuals coping with Parkinson’s could significantly benefit from the therapeutic results of singing. The question was, how could we at CCM provide assistance?

We envisioned the emotional support and connection of singing in harmony with a group of individuals who empathize with your daily struggles. In spring 2019, Concord Conservatory of Music established the Singing with Parkinson’s Chorus with the support of generous donors. The Chorus members continue to come together weekly to appreciate and create music, enhance their vocal abilities, and build valuable connections with each other.

Sadly, over one million people in the United States are impacted by Parkinson’s disease, with approximately 60,000 new cases diagnosed annually, as reported by the Parkinson’s Foundation. Those with Parkinson’s frequently experience difficulties with hand coordination, balance issues, loss of smell, tremors, and speech challenges like a monotone voice, slow speech, and reduced volume. Fortunately, singing seems to help.

Taking part in our therapeutic Chorus for individuals with Parkinson’s disease provides a chance to engage in voice therapy through singing and performing. In an extremely supportive and congenial environment, Chorus members learn breathing, stretching, posture, and vocal exercises. Guided by his knowledge, experience, and passion for singing, CCM faculty member Jay Lane leads the Singing with Parkinson’s Chorus.

With a B.A. in music and a Ph.D. in musicology from Yale University as well as a Certified McClosky Voice Technician & Master Teacher from the McClosky Institute of Voice, Jay is equipped to offer practical solutions for overcoming various technical challenges Chorus members face.

Jay tells us, “Singing with Parkinson’s is a welcoming group of people, with a lot of positive energy, and we’ve bonded into a little community.  Together we’ve developed a repertoire of almost 100 songs, and once a week we gather to sing as many of them as we can, adding new songs from time to time. A positive attitude is vital for people with Parkinson’s disease, and this group promotes it–not only do we enjoy singing, but group members all grow, learning new things and improving their skills.  We also enjoy the break–taking time to get to know one another a bit and hearing about vacations, families, new recipes, and whatever else comes up.  We like all kinds of songs, but some of our favorites are, ‘On the street where you live’ and ‘How can I keep from singing?’”

Chorus member David Campbell says, “Singing with Parkinson’s chorus is important to me for several reasons. First and foremost, I enjoy making music with people. Secondly, it’s important because it helps me maintain my voice, which has diminished in tone and volume with this disease. Also, I enjoy getting to know my fellow members and Jay, our leader. Jay works on our getting the most out of our voices and his piano playing is superb. Most importantly we have fun.”

Chorus member Nahid Rathore agrees when we speak of overcoming challenges. She says, “It is a great group. Most of the singers are excellent, while I had never sung a word in all my life. No one is judgmental, only encouraging. Jay is a wonderful teacher. I feel that I was losing my voice due to PD and this experience has greatly benefited me.

We are delighted that the Chorus offers a chance for individuals dealing with Parkinson’s disease to discover happiness, beauty, and enjoyment through music. It allows those who love to sing to improve their voices while finding comfort and camaraderie in the process.


CCM Welcomes New Board Member, Jack Kelleher

Jack Kelleher got acquainted with CCM in 2019 when his oldest son started piano lessons with faculty member Chieko Loy. He lives in Concord with his wife Julia and their three sons. Witnessing the extensive opportunities CCM offers for music education and its positive impact on the community, he eagerly became more engaged in enriching music experiences for Concord and beyond. CCM Board Member Jack Kelleher

“I have been absolutely amazed with what our Founder, Kate Yoder, has accomplished in terms of supporting the CCM student body of more than 500 students, the incredibly talented teacher corps, and the myriad creative ways that CCM engages with our wider community. Programs like the Ukulele classes at the Boys & Girls Club of Assabet Valley, The Listening Project, and others that share the gift of music have deeply resonated with me. I am delighted to join the Board and support Kate’s and the Board’s efforts to expand CCM’s reach. I am thrilled about the CCM mission, and being a Board member presents a fantastic opportunity to contribute.”

Jack moved to Concord in 2017 after spending most of his professional life in Europe where he worked as both an entrepreneur and private equity fund manager. He hopes that his experience in building startups, as well as scaling operations for growing companies, will be useful as CCM implements its long-term vision.

Jack graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and has taught real estate development and risk management courses at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation and MARKHI’s joint graduate school program. Jack is the Co-Founder and President of, an education technology company dedicated to ensuring that all children have the opportunity to learn to read.


News At CCM

The Ruth Beggars



Experience the unique fusion of traditional and innovative acoustic bluegrass music when we host The Ruta Beggars on Saturday, April 27th at 7:00 pm.

Celebrated for their vibrant energy and engaging shows, they skillfully blend bluegrass and early swing. With a repertoire filled with intricate vocal harmonies and fiery instrumentals, you can expect an electrifying live show that displays their passion for music and undeniable talent.

Get your concert tickets in advance!

The 2023-2024 Concert & Lecture Series is made possible in part by our Lead sponsor, Emerson Health, and Supporting Sponsor Middlesex Savings Bank.

This series is supported in part by a grant from the Concord Cultural Council and Acton-Boxborough Cultural Council, local agencies which are supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

CCM Special Programming

What do Fidelity, Raytheon, and State Street have in common?

They have matching gift programs—enabling you to double the impact of your gift to CCM and support excellent educational programming!

Your gift will go further in helping to provide high-quality music education and financial assistance. We deeply appreciate the generosity of our donors and their employers.

Won’t you please consider giving the gift of music today?

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In the Community

Concord Chamber Music Society

The Concord Chamber Music Society presents pianist Yefim Bronfman in Concert Sunday, March 17th at 3:00 pm at Groton Hill Music Center

Piano Sonata in A Minor, D 784 by Franz Schubert

Faschingsschwank aus Wien, Op. 26 by Robert Schumann

Sonata No. 3, Op. 58 by Frédéric Chopin


Concord Conservatory of Music never wants to turn away a committed student with financial need.

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