Baystate Franklin’s a capella chorus to hold annual holiday concert

  • Clinical Notes, Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s women’s a cappella chorus, will perform its annual holiday concert on Dec. 20. Contributed photo

Staff Writer
Published: 12/5/2018 11:00:57 AM

Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s women’s a cappella chorus is giving locals a reason to take a breather from holiday planning with its annual “Sing Noel” concert.

The chorus, called Clinical Notes, will perform on Thursday, Dec. 20, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Greenfield hospital’s main conference rooms.

“It’s casual,” said Clinical Notes Manager and Assistant Director Phyllis Stone of Erving. “We’re not professionals, we make mistakes and laugh about it, and we sort of engage the audience.”

Though the songs aren’t sing-alongs, Stone said the chorus is eager to explain why its members selected each song and, if it is in another language, explain what the words mean. The concert will include a variety of styles of music including traditional carols, solstice-themed songs and modern selections, such as “The First Noel” and “Mr. Santa,” a rendition of “Mr. Sandman.”

Established in 2003, Clinical Notes consists of present and former hospital employees and volunteers, and family members of staff. Members come from Greenfield, Turners Falls, Colrain, Shutesbury, Leverett and Erving, as well as a few Hampshire County towns. Most members have been with the chorus — which Stone said is “an essential part of their lives, year-round” — since its beginning.

Under the direction of Turners Falls resident Kathryn Aubry-McAvoy, the 12-member chorus begins practicing for the holiday concert in July, following it’s other annual performance, a summer solstice concert. Clinical Notes also performs a mini-concert at Baystate Franklin’s annual Chocolate Fantasy event in February.

“The winter one is always more popular than the summer ones,” Stone said. “We usually have a nearly full room for the winter ones.”

The singers’ experience ranges. While there are some professional musicians in the group, everyone is welcome to join, Stone said, making for a casual environment.

“For us, we enjoy it ourselves, whether nobody comes or a lot of people come,” she said. “We’re there because we love singing and we love getting together with each other. We’re not expecting perfection, we’re just expecting fun.”

The concert is free and open to hospital staff, patients and visitors, as well as the general public, but donations are welcome. For more information about Clinical Notes, contact Phyllis Stone by phone at 413-834-2436 or by email at

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