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                                                                                                    September 2023
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The Pemigewasset Choral Society
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gether’s mission is to raise funds and awareness for first respond- ers and veterans, as they are at an increased risk for Post Traumatic Stress Injury, substance misuse, suicide,
and other stress-related health conditions. Re- sponder Together has a peer support team or “CISM” team (Critical Incident Stress Management), where individuals provide peer- to-peer support resources
and stress management
to law enforcement, fire/
EMS, corrections, dispatchers, and veterans. The purpose is to help them manage their stress re- sponse and lower the associated risk of Post Traumatic Stress In- jury, substance misuse, and suicide.
Aimee LaMotte of the Lake Region CISM Team, said that Responder Together is working hard to evolve its wellness pro- gram for first responders and veterans. They are partnering
with Mike Petterson of New England Mindfulness to spearhead the wellness program. Mike and Re- sponders Together are working together to de- velop Peer-facilitated wellness training. Petterson is a vet- eran, current federal law enforcement, founder of SPC Matthew Pol- lini Memorial Fund, Hidden Battles Peer sup- porter, and mPEAK Coach. Mindful Performance Enhance- ment, Awareness, and Knowl- edge, or mPEAK, is an “intensive training program that, through a series of science-backed teach-
ness, focus, performance, and manage stress, leading to overall wellness and resilience.”
LaMotte mentioned aspects such as trauma-informed yoga, mindfulness, and health and wellness when talking about evolving the wellness program. She stated, “This is exciting be- cause the evolution of the well- ness program will help mitigate stress in first responders and vet- erans, as well as help them con- nect with people who understand what they are going through.”
Every Friday, there is an open gym at Kiler Fitness for any fire/ EMS, police, dispatchers, veter- ans, active military & corrections officers. Every second Friday, Responders Together holds their Coffee Chat, where peers lead peer-led discussions determined by the responders and veterans at- tending. They talk about life, stress response, sports, really anything! Every third Friday, they hold the Family and Friends Night, where responders & veterans are wel- come, but family and friends can attend without. It is a clinician-led Q&A opportunity about stress re- sponse, PTSI, & suicide preven- tion unique to responder families. And every fourth Friday, they have their Lakes Region Critical Incident Management Peer Sup- port Team/Responder Strong NH meeting. All responders and veterans are welcome.
For more information on Responder Strong, please visit http://responderstogethernh. org/index.html or check out their Facebook page!
By BRittany amalfi
The Pemigewasset Choral Society is celebrating its 50th season! In 1974, a group of 29 singers gathered in the College Union Building at Plymouth State College in Plymouth, New Hampshire. With just an au- dience of 35 family members, the 29 individuals gave such a strong performance that the en- thusiasm of the crowd was un- matched. And since then, The Pemigewasset
Choral Society was
born. Katherine Hill-
ier, Vivian Norwood,
Dr. Earl Norwood,
Dr. Robert Swift, and
Marogt Swift, all being notable names in the Pemi Choral Society’s early days, set the stage for the society’s success- ful showcase of talents through- out the years.
Hillier and Vivian created the Choral Society, while Dr. Earl Norwood served as the Cho- ral Society’s original director, providing the first opportunity in many decades for adults in central New Hampshire to sing under professional leadership. In 1979, Dr. Robert Swift, Professor of Music at Plymouth State Col- lege, took over as director, with Margot Swift serving as accom- panist. Under their leadership, the Choral Society grew to over
120 singers from all over the Lakes Region who collectively traveled thousands of miles each week for rehearsals.
In 2011, Rob St. Cyr became Music Director along with ac- companist Hannah Kim. Leslie McDonnell and Will Gunn took over the leadership of the Cho- ral Society in 2012, with Cath- erine Dornin as accompanist. In 2014, Grace Templeton became the Pemi accompanist, to be suc-
ceeded two years later by Laura Belanger for the 2016 winter concert. Will Gunn became the full-time director
in 2017.
The current Presi-
dent of the Pemi Choral Society is Susan Scrimshaw. Scrimshaw has been on the Pemi Board since 2018, is a second soprano, and has been singing since kindergarten. Ann Nichols holds the title of Vice President, and Mary Hazelton is the Secre- tary.
Now, as they celebrate their 50th season, their rehearsals of- ficially began on August 28th. They are an active community chorus with a repertoire includ- ing classical and contemporary works as well as folk songs, spir- ituals, and music from stage and
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    All support is confidential.
The organization is holding
its CISM classes on 1/10/2024, 1/11/2024, and 1/12/2024 in Canaan, NH. At the moment, all of Responder Together’s fundrais- ing is going to those CISM classes.
ings, discussions, and practices, may benefit anyone who is look- ing to improve their performance on the job and in life. With con- tinued practice, mPEAK training can help strengthen the brain to increase and improve self-aware-
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