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Gotta Be Me Heartlight Choir

"Music is the universal language of mankind."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The GBM Heartlight Choir program was founded in 2014 by Tiffiny Clifton and Marilyn Hinkle as a way to bring people of all abilities together in a social setting where they could have fun, express their creativity and enjoy the benefits of community life. Tiffiny reached out to Marilyn Hinkle (pictured below), then an adaptive curriculum teacher with Omaha Public Schools (OPS), and the GBM Heartlight Choir was born.

Hinkle, who is now retired from OPS and GBM, is a big fan of Neil Diamond and named the choir after "(Turn On Your) Heartlight" - one of her favorite songs. The choir began with a list of songs Marilyn knew and liked, then added to their repertoire over the years. Today, anything is game - as an example, the group collaborated with Opera Omaha in to create "Caleb and the Unicorn," a rock opera and continues to grow working with many collaborators and partners in music and all things music.

"Anyone who wants to join the GBM Heartlight Choir is accepted as they are, no matter what," Clifton says. "We encourage our peeps to sing in whatever way they want - the most important thing is that they're enjoying themselves." Humming, vocal singing, communication devices, whistles, thumping your fingers on the table - enjoy yourself, feel the music. 

Today, the GBM Heartlight Choir is directed by Britta T. With practices on Monday evenings from 7:00 to 8:00pm at the Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center on the University of Nebraska at Omaha campus and on the Gotta Be Me Zoom Channel. To join or for more information, email us at info@gottabeme.org.

Watch "Caleb and the Unicorn" here

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