Posted on September 2, 2019

Maybelle Community Singers

“We believe in the power of song to create positive change in the world.”

Something magical happens when people come together in song. The simple gift of sharing our voices bonds us together and heals us from within. Maybelle Community Singers creates access to music and art that is often out of reach for many people experiencing poverty – like many of our members.

The inspiration for the choir came from Associate Director, Kristrun Grondal, who formed a therapeutic choir at the Alzheimer’s Association. Growing up in a family of music, Grondal intimately knew the power of music, and she saw that healing power first-hand amongst persons experiencing dementia. Grondal couldn’t wait to bring a similar concept to Maybelle Center.

Just two years after launching, Maybelle Community Singers shared their talents and joy with our city through a collaboration with the Oregon Symphony. One choir member commented, “I showed up to this community. I showed up to this choir and look what happened. Look what can happen when I use my voice. Look what can happen when I come together in community, opportunities like this. We did that.”

Our community choir is just one of the ways we foster meaningful connection in Downtown Portland. Since 1991, we’ve built a more vibrant city by disrupting social isolation – so we can all live healthy and connected lives.”

January 2016  |  Maybelle Community Singers launched under the direction of Choir Director, Crystal Akins.

May 2018  |  Maybelle Community Singers sing the world premiere of “emergency intake form” with the Oregon Symphony and soprano, Measha Brueggergosman. Choir members shared their stories and worked alongside composer, Gabriel Kahane, as he prepared his original work exploring the challenges of housing insecurity. The collaboration has subsequently been recorded for future release.

April 2019  |  KATU nominated Maybelle Community Singers to receive a 2018 Newsmaker Award, sponsored by the Royal Rosarians to celebrate organizations inspiring positive change in our community.

For more information, contact the Maybelle Center for Community at (503) 222.5720 or info@maybellecenter.org.

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