REMEMBERING - Pictured here are Sadie Braun and her daughter Sharon Braun earlier this year. Sadie

Chamber Singers founder Sadie Braun leaves rich legacy

A Remembering Sadie gathering to be held at the Red Deer College Arts Centre

  • Wed Nov 9th, 2016 5:30pm
  • News

Truly dedicated to the betterment of the Red Deer community, Sadie Braun passed away last week.

Braun launched the Red Deer Chamber Singers just over 40 years ago after directing the all-women’s musical troupe The Waska-Sues. She passed away Nov. 2nd. A Remembering Sadie gathering is set for Nov. 12th at Red Deer College, said her daughter Sharon Braun. “It’s open to anyone who wants to come.”

It will run from 1 to 4 p.m. in the lobby of the Red Deer College Arts Centre.

A spring memorial is planned as well.

“She had a great joy of family and her music,” said Sharon. “I’ve had so many people, many who I don’t know, who tell me, ‘Your mom taught me, or my brother or whoever – so she was a very busy woman, and she was very dedicated to being part of life and of society – she wanted to give as much as she could.

“She was so involved in the community, and she just wanted to participate. She wanted to share her joy of music.”

Sharon is also thankful that her mom was able to attend the 40th anniversary celebration this year, too.

“It was a living tribute to her, too.”

Just this past spring, the Chamber Singers marked a tremendously significant milestone, presenting ‘40 Years Singing with Sadie’ in May at Gaetz Memorial United Church.

Looking back to those early days, eventually Sadie wanted to start up a singing group for men and women, and The Madrigal Singers began. They later became The Chamber Singers under her direction.

From the start, Sadie found such joy in directing the group and made many friends over the years through both the choir and her teaching career in the community as well.

Currently, the group has about 20 members and is under the direction of Sharon – a wonderfully accomplished and respected musician and opera singer in her own right. Sadie passed the baton back in 2007, but she remained an integral part of the group of course.

Sadie originally hailed from southern Manitoba. And it was during her early years that a passion for music was born.

Along with the flourishing gift for music was a love for nursing, too. So over the years, she certainly had her hands full with a nursing career while also raising a family (three children) and of course growing her remarkable musical abilities as well.

Sadie’s mom taught her a few melodies as well. “Music has always been part of my life,” she commented this past spring prior to the anniversary concert.

When the family came to Red Deer in 1971, Sadie started working at the local hospital. She worked on the obstetrics ward for 10 years or so.

She had also said that seeing the transformative powers of music amongst choir members over the years was also rewarding, said Sadie. Sometimes, folks would come to rehearsal saying they were feeling tired, and nearly stayed home. “But when they finished the rehearsal, they’d go home singing. It puts them in a different world.

“It would revive them, and that’s the beauty of music.”

Indeed.

For Sharon, directing the choir provides another rich means of tapping into the wonders of music. She teaches voice at RDC as well, but finds balancing the two areas a continually fulfilling venture.

As to her mom, she’s proud of her legacy and the impact that Sadie had on so many lives.

“She did it because she wanted to do it, not because she wanted any kind of glory or anything like that,” she said of her mother’s active role in the Red Deer and Central Alberta community. “She was quite the remarkable lady.”

Nellie Radomsky, a friend of Sadie’s, agreed.

“I first knew Sadie on a personal level when she taught piano lessons to our daughter and remember her skill and passion and always her ongoing interest even when the lessons stopped,” she said.

”Sadie started a music group many years ago and I had the pleasure of joining over 10 years ago. During that time Sadie was an incredible inspiration to all of us, not only with her playing but with the encouragement she gave to all of us.

“I was fortunate to play a number of two piano works with Sadie, and the time I spent in her house practicing was a profound blessing for me and a memory I will always cherish.

“Her leadership in the community with her church and the Chamber Singers is really immeasurable. She will be missed by so many.”

mark.weber@reddeerexpress.com