Making Music, Providing Comfort

Methodaires support alternative therapies at Frauenshuh Cancer Center.

It’s a cold and wet night but the community room in Colonial Acres is warm, bright and filled with beautiful singing by a choir, led by director Melissa Warhol, called the Methodaires.

They are, says choir president Linda Gross, a volunteer, all-women’s show choir whose name indicates their association with Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park. In over 40 annual springtime performances, the Methodaires have raised and donated more than $200,000 to Frauenshuh Cancer Center and the Park Nicollet Foundation. This money is used by the hospital to provide services often not covered by insurance, says Gross, “including music therapy and massage therapies which patients report have provided them with moments of comfort while they battle cancer.”

“A lot of us in the choir were in choirs and show choirs in high school,” says singer Rhonda Lundgren. What Lundgren likes best about the Methodaires is “using our talents to raise money for things so undervalued in our society,” she says, like music therapy. Cheryl Nelson is in her 11th season with the choir. “This choir has been around for 45 years,” she says. Back when she was in high school it was called the Eliot Mother Singers. At about the same time St. Louis Park schools did away with the “room mother” concept, Nelson says, one of the choir directors became ill with cancer. It was at this time the choir began to fulfill its mission as the Methodaires.

When asked what keeps her coming to practices, singer Stacey Willman says, “This is a great bunch of women. We have such good camaraderie.” Gross agrees. “This is a very talented group of singers,” she says. “Genuinely friendly people. Genuinely kind.”

Don’t miss the Methodaires’ April 2018 concerts scheduled for Friday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 14 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at Eisenhower Community Center, 1001 MN-7 in Hopkins.