Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIN 211.ca - opens in a new window

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIN

Christianne De Jesus plays piano for the Bathurst-Finch Community Hub community choir as they practice

A community in tune

Music has always struck a chord with Christianne De Jesus. At three-years-old, she started playing the piano. By high school, she was performing in plays and teaching music to children. At 18, Christianne dreamed of starting a community choir in the Bathurst-Finch neighbourhood where she grew up.

“Many of the people in my community are newcomers and feel disconnected from their neighbours,” she says. “I wanted to find a way to bring local residents together—regardless of age, ethnicity or musical ability. After all, music is the universal language.”

Because of you, ambitious young community builders like Christianne can act on their vision of creating strong and vital communities. With your support, Christianne found a space for the choir to practice at United Way’s Bathurst-Finch Community Hub. She also purchased a piano and sheet music with a small grant that supports resident-led, grassroots projects. Before long, nearly 30 people had signed up to attend the weekly practices.

The community choir has brought harmony and joy to residents, including Roger Pinuela. When the 72-year-old—originally from the Philippines—lost his wife two years ago, he felt isolated and alone. Roger found friendship and a sense of belonging as part of the choir, but also the opportunity to give back in a meaningful way. “I feel like I’m really contributing to my community. People truly enjoy coming to our performances,” he says.

Of course, there’s plenty in it for Christianne as well, who, although dreams of becoming a doctor, doesn’t plan on retiring the title of Choir Director anytime soon. “It makes me so happy to know my neighbours have become friends,” she says. “I’m so grateful to United Way donors for giving our community a chance to find its voice.”

What began as residents sharing a love of music has transformed into a vibrant community now connected by so much more.

Thanks to your generosity, the Bathurst-Finch Community Choir is continuing on a high note.