During these uncertain times caused by COVID-19, this choir’s rendition of “Rise Again” became a viral hit and has been viewed across the globe.

During these uncertain times caused by COVID-19, this choir’s rendition of “Rise Again” became a viral hit and has been viewed across the globe.

For me, [the video] has become an anthem of hope and something to hold on to when I’m feeling overwhelmed by everything going on.

Chetana Kulkarni, member of Voices Rock Medicine and a psychiatrist at SickKids hospital

For me, [the video] has become an anthem of hope and something to hold on to when I’m feeling overwhelmed by everything going on.

Chetana Kulkarni, member of Voices Rock Medicine and a psychiatrist at SickKids hospital

oices Rock Medicine Choir at #VCRUunplugged, at the Assembly Hall in Etobicoke

Voices Rock Medicine Choir at #VCRUunplugged, at the Assembly Hall in Etobicoke, Jan. 25, 2019

oices Rock Medicine Choir at #VCRUunplugged, at the Assembly Hall in Etobicoke

Voices Rock Medicine Choir at #VCRUunplugged, at the Assembly Hall in Etobicoke, Jan. 25, 2019

Voices Rock Medicine is a choir comprised of women physicians who practice in the Greater Toronto Area. You have probably seen the viral video of the women singing “Rise Again”. The video has amassed over 300, 000 views on Facebook, 400,000 views on YouTube and was broadcasted during the Stronger Together concert that featured prominent Canadian artists such as Celine Dion, Justin Bieber and Micheal Buble.

Voices Rock Medicine was founded in September 2019 and is a subsidiary of Voices Rock Canada (VCR). The choir strive to use music to “spread the joy that comes from creating and connecting” (Voicesrockcanada.com)

Meet Chetana Kulkarni

Chetana joined the group to continue her love of singing and gain connections with other women physicians in the area. Despite her busy schedule as a psychiatrist at SickKids hospital, Chetana makes time for the group’s rehearsals, concerts and social events because it is a way for her to have something outside of medicine and to build community. 

Voices Rock Medicine is a choir comprised of women physicians who practice in the Greater Toronto Area. You have probably seen the viral video of the women singing “Rise Again”. The video has amassed over 300, 000 views on Facebook, 400,000 views on YouTube and was broadcasted during the Stronger Together concert that featured prominent Canadian artists such as Celine Dion, Justin Bieber and Micheal Buble.

Voices Rock Medicine was founded in September 2019 and is a subsidiary of Voices Rock Canada (VCR). The choir strive to use music to “spread the joy that comes from creating and connecting” (Voicesrockcanada.com)

Meet Chetana Kulkarni

Chetana joined the group to continue her love of singing and gain connections with other women physicians in the area. Despite her busy schedule as a psychiatrist at SickKids hospital, Chetana makes time for the group’s rehearsals, concerts and social events because it is a way for her to have something outside of medicine and to build community. 

What I remember most from [rehersals] was a theme of the love of music and being involved in choirs or singing and falling away from that because “med school happened” or “kids happened” and that for most of us we were seeking a way to bring something back into our lives that felt like it was missing.

Chetana Kulkarni, member of Voices Rock Medicine and a psychiatrist at SickKids hospital

What I remember most from [rehersals] was a theme of the love of music and being involved in choirs or singing and falling away from that because “med school happened” or “kids happened” and that for most of us we were seeking a way to bring something back into our lives that felt like it was missing.

– Chetana Kulkarni, member of Voices Rock Medicine and a psychiatrist at SickKids hospital

Voices Rock Medicine Choir at #VCRUunplugged, at the Assembly Hall in Etobicoke, Jan. 25, 2019

Voices Rock Medicine Choir at #VCRUunplugged, at the Assembly Hall in Etobicoke, Jan. 25, 2019

Even before the official stay at home expectations was ordered, the VRC leadership made the decision to move their rehearsals to Zoom. The artistic director, Anthony Bastianon, then informed the choir members that he and his family had created a video of them singing “Rise Again” by Lean Dubinsky.  Chetana says that the choir was moved to tears when they saw the final video. Anthony then asked the choir members to individually record themselves singing “Rise Again”, as a tribute to the healthcare community. When the video was edited and published, it was also met with tears from the choir members. 

Even before the official stay at home expectations was ordered, the VRC leadership made the decision to move their rehearsals to Zoom. The artistic director, Anthony Bastianon, then informed the choir members that he and his family had created a video of them singing “Rise Again” by Lean Dubinsky.  Chetana says that the choir was moved to tears when they saw the final video. Anthony then asked the choir members to individually record themselves singing “Rise Again”, as a tribute to the healthcare community. When the video was edited and published, it was also met with tears from the choir members. 

The video started as a way of Anthony giving us a gift and I don’t know if he realized how much of a gift it was. It gave us something to focus on outside of the constant bombardment of Covid-related information.

– Chetana Kulkarni, member of Voices Rock Medicine and a psychiatrist at SickKids hospital

The video started as a way of Anthony giving us a gift and I don’t know if he realized how much of a gift it was. It gave us something to focus on outside of the constant bombardment of Covid-related information.

– Chetana Kulkarni, member of Voices Rock Medicine and a psychiatrist at SickKids hospital

Voices Rock Medicine “Rise Again” Screenshot from YouTube

Voices Rock Medicine “Rise Again” Screenshot from YouTube

Chetana hopes that when the pandemic passes, the members will eventually be able to meet again. But until then, the choir will continue to sing together and create inspirational videos.

Chetana hopes that when the pandemic passes, the members will eventually be able to meet again. But until then, the choir will continue to sing together and create inspirational videos.

As a psychiatrist with an interest in physician wellness I know how important connectedness, community and meaning are for us as humans, especially in difficult times, and to me being a part of Voices Rock Medicine and this video helps to build my resilience and strength.

– Chetana Kulkarni, member of Voices Rock Medicine and a psychiatrist at SickKids hospital

As a psychiatrist with an interest in physician wellness I know how important connectedness, community and meaning are for us as humans, especially in difficult times, and to me being a part of Voices Rock Medicine and this video helps to build my resilience and strength.

– Chetana Kulkarni, member of Voices Rock Medicine and a psychiatrist at SickKids hospital

Meet Cheryl Bower

Cheryl is the founder of Voices Rock Canada. Her love for choirs dates back to when she had joined a rock choir while her husband was ill in 2011. She used the choir to escape the anxiety and stress of being a primary caregiver. After he passed away in 2012, she decided to dedicate the rest of her life to art and music, and thus, Voices Rock Canada was born. 

The concept behind a doctor’s only choir was inspired by Dr. Susan Thouin. Dr. Thouin recruited 30 women for the pilot choir “Medicine For The Soul”. After the success of their first concert in December 2019, the choir was renamed Voices Rock Medicine.

Meet Cheryl Bower

Cheryl is the founder of Voices Rock Canada. Her love for choirs dates back to when she had joined a rock choir while her husband was ill in 2011. She used the choir to escape the anxiety and stress of being a primary caregiver. After he passed away in 2012, she decided to dedicate the rest of her life to art and music, and thus, Voices Rock Canada was born. 

The concept behind a doctor’s only choir was inspired by Dr. Susan Thouin. Dr. Thouin recruited 30 women for the pilot choir “Medicine For The Soul”. After the success of their first concert in December 2019, the choir was renamed Voices Rock Medicine.

Voices Rock Medicine Choir at #VCRUunplugged, at the Assembly Hall in Etobicoke

Voices Rock Medicine Choir at #VCRUunplugged, at the Assembly Hall in Etobicoke, Jan. 25, 2019

Voices Rock Medicine Choir at #VCRUunplugged, at the Assembly Hall in Etobicoke

Voices Rock Medicine Choir at #VCRUunplugged, at the Assembly Hall in Etobicoke, Jan. 25, 2019

The doctors have found that meeting together, whether it be live or virtually, has provided a safe place for them to express themselves, a place just for them, away from the stresses and anxieties of life.

– Cheryl Bower, founder of Voices Rock Canada

The doctors have found that meeting together, whether it be live or virtually, has provided a safe place for them to express themselves, a place just for them, away from the stresses and anxieties of life.

– Cheryl Bower, founder of Voices Rock Canada

The choir hopes they will be able to hold another concert before the end of the year. In the meantime, the group will virtually hold rehearsals that continue to be a refuge for them, to be with their community and experience love and acceptance.

The choir hopes they will be able to hold another concert before the end of the year. In the meantime, the group will virtually hold rehearsals that continue to be a refuge for them, to be with their community and experience love and acceptance.

Written by: Rene L. Dunkley

Written by: Rene L. Dunkley