On a rainy December Sunday afternoon 10 Skyliners gathered to spread some Christmas cheer by singing Christmas songs to residents and staff at the E.W. Bickle Centre in west end Toronto. The Centre is part of the Toronto Rehab system and includes many patients who require complex care.
So instead of a single caroling session in common space, the Skyliners led by President Liz, and sometime accompanist Julie on clarinet became traveling troubadours, singing sets of three or four songs starting in the front of the Bickle Centre near the Christmas tree, then working their way around the floors singing in patient room and in corners lounges for a few patients at a time. Many of us wore red, and sported Christmas antlers or hats supplied by the Centre’s program staff.
From “Jingle Bells Rock”, to “O Come All Ye Faithful,” the group, which had never rehearsed, gave spirited renditions of Christmas songs, getting a warm response from patients, many of whom smiled and joined in on favourites. It was a good outreach to people who are unfortunately unable to be with their families during this festive season, due to either rehabilitation, or long term care they need.