Saying Goodbye to the Choir I Grew Up In

Posted by Kathryn Harris-Lowe on

This past weekend we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Peterborough Children's Chorus (PCC) and my mom's retirement as director of the choir. I also said goodbye (for the second time) to the choir that I have sung in for 13 (maybe more) years. It was a weekend full of family, friends, celebrations and tears.  This choir has been one of the most important parts of my life, so saying goodbye and seeing my mom leave this choir wasn't easy, but I am looking forward to the new ventures.

Saturday morning started with setting up the reception hall for the 20th anniversary celebration. It was a fairly early, and busy, morning, but it was amazing to see many PCC alumni, board members, current members and family members come together to make this space a reflection of what the choir has done and has meant to the people who were part of it over the past 20 years.


Before the tears started


After setting up the hall, I came home and got ready for the afternoon concert. I went to this concert prepared to cry (I stuffed tissues in my music folder!) as not only was this my last concert with this incredible group, but it was also my mom's last concert directing the choirs. I don't know about you, but I am the type of person who is very likely to cry when I see someone else crying.

The concert went very well, and I only really cried once (okay, there were many other times where I teared up, but only one full out cry). The only time I cried was when the Junior Choir, directed by Julie Deck, sang a song for my mom called "Maureen's Favourite Things", based off of the song My Favourite Things. It was such a cute and touching tribute to celebrate my mom's time with and contribution to the choir.


The choir and alumni singing the final song of the concert


Between the concert and reception, my family that came to see the concert as well as some friends came over to my parent's place for some appetizers, catching up and talking about the concert. My mom and I then headed over to the reception.

I was so happy I got to walk into the reception with my mom, as this was the first time she saw the reception hall set up. Before all the speeches started, I got the opportunity to mingle some people, some of which I haven't gotten to talk to very much.


A photo of the reception hall


Then, the speeches started. Before my speech, my friends Emily and Beth did a speech on behalf of the PCC alumni. Their speech was filled with memories, including things I even forgot about, and humour. It was the complete opposite tone from my speech, which followed theirs.

I started my speech and stupidly looked at my mom who was crying, and then I started getting emotional. My speech talked about what the PCC has meant to me, how this choir continues to impact children and the community, and how my mom shaped this choir into what it is today.


A photo of me giving my speech


My speech lead into what was my favourite part of the whole day. For almost a year, myself and some of my friends have been planning a surprise performance of the song Thank You For the Music. I still can't believe we pulled off this surprise. I am so happy with how many people worked together to pull together what we did. It just proves how amazing this choir is, and how much this choir is like a second family.

I will miss this choir so much, but I am excited for the new choir my mom is creating with the PCC's former accompanist Dustin, the Electric City Singers. There is so much more about this day and this choir I could talk about, but I'll leave it at this for now.

Watch the last part of my speech and our performance of Thank You For the Music below (just ignore me crying throughout my solo and, well, the entire song).


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