Melinda Harris serves as the CEO of the Sing to Live® Community Chorus. She oversees programming, board development and fundraising efforts and works closely with the enitire Board of Directors in creating and executing the business goals and strategic plan. She worked at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois for 18 years as a manager, instructional designer, and key facilitator of leadership development programs. She left in July 2012 to further develop the Sing to Live ®Community Chorus and ultimately to take its business model national. Melinda graduated from Cleveland State University with a BA in Education.
August 10, 2004 was the day my life was redirected. It was the day I was told abnormal cells were found in a recent biopsy. I was told I needed surgery and radiation treatments. It wasn't until radiation was mentioned that I asked the radiologist, "Is this breast cancer?" She said, "I'm afraid so." She quickly proceeded to tell me that the cancer was found very early, the tumor was very small and if anyone were to get breast cancer the type I have is the 'best' kind to have. She also said that while this is difficult news, it should prove to be only a 'blip' in my life.
As my journey as a breast cancer patient began, I sought out others who had experienced or were experiencing what I was going through. While I had unlimited support from family, friends, and work, there's nothing like talking to someone who's been there.
I found that support groups offer wonderful programs that provide cancer patients and survivors a welcomed distraction in various ways such as art, yoga and cooking. What I found glaringly missing for me was a musical outlet. I was very surprised to see this missing since music is such a healing activity.
I did research on a variety of support groups and found there were none with a musical outlet. So, to fill this void, I decided to start a chorus myself. I spoke with family and friends about 'this idea I have' and received a lot of encouragement. It was with that encouragement that the Sing to Live ® Community Chorus was born.