Our Story

HeartSong Singers of Southern Oregon (formerly affiliated with Threshold Choir) began in 2003 under the direction of Sarah Seybold (former hospice nurse) and l’lana Cotton (music teacher and composer) who brought an ideal combination of skills and experience to the beginnings of this choir formed as part of a national bedside singing movement begun by Kate Munger in California.

By training singers, fostering bedside teams, and compiling a collection of songs, we have grown from a few interested singers to an enduring group of 25-30 women. Many of our singers have been with us since the beginning, and over half have been singing with us for at least 5 years. Some of us sing at bedside once a month, some 2-3 times a week, visiting patients in many Rogue Valley communities close to Ashland and Medford.

In our community we have become a viable component of palliative care for hospice and end-of-life programs in homes, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, retirement communities and adult foster care facilities, making roughly 700 bedside visits per year.

While many referrals come from care providers, hospice nurses, social workers, or chaplains, word of mouth has reached into our communities and we often get invited by family and friends to sing to loved ones.

It is easy to become involved as a singer. It is helpful to read music, and our songs are generally short, simple, and include harmonies. New singers will typically want to learn many of our songs before going to bedside. The best way to do this is to attend our rehearsals which happen twice a month—generally on Sunday afternoons.

The HeartSong Singers of Southern Oregon provide opportunities for women to share the gifts of their voices in compassion and truth at life’s thresholds; a sacred, delightful way to build community and be part of a unique, co-created adventure.