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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

San Diego Chorus wants to send you a personalized 'Birthday Gram'

The chorus of 90 women uses to music to unite people during social isolation.

SAN DIEGO — When the COVID shut down canceled a chance to sing at Carnegie Hall for the San Diego Chorus, the group kept on singing. In this Zevely Zone, I found out how a personalized song could help the chorus and someone you love.

The San Diego Chorus is singing "Birthday Grams." New social distancing measures may have put a damper on traditional birthday celebrations, but the San Diego Chorus of Sweet Adelines International has created a memorable way to celebrate safely with a song which is no small feat.

"She is under my computer," said Kathleen Hansen, the group's director laughing about the cat that was nibbling on her finger during our interview.

"This is Celeste the studio cat and she stars in many of my YouTube videos as well," said Kathleen.

Credit: KFMB

Her point? Gathering 90 singers virtually to sing any song.  When the San Diego Chorus could no longer meet in person, they knew the tune "Every Woman's Song" would unite the group.

"Everyone has cried on stage at one point or another singing this song," said Claudia Cannon.

Laurie Bokuniewicz joined the chorus in April and still hasn't met her new family face to face.

"[I've been] living by myself during this time and feeling very isolated I now have 89 new people in my life," said Laurie.  

If you know someone feeling isolated, the San Diego Chorus will send them a personalized Birthday Gram or Sweetheart Gram.

Credit: KFMB

"It's a really great way to build community and stay together with others even during challenging times," said Shakur Collins. 

Another chorus member, Stephanie Staidl added, "It's been an honor and pleasure to allow us to meet in this way."  

Talk about harmony, when this group sings, their hearts beat in unison. When then they do return to singing in person, Laurie Bokuniewicz has 89 sisters waiting.

"I am truly blessed, and I can't wait to meet them in person," said Laurie.

RELATED: Children in United States and China team up to sing about unity

The San Diego Chorus will create an acapella, doo-wop Birthday Gram that includes a personalized message from the sender. For $59, customized Birthday Grams are created and delivered digitally via email, and recipients may view their video message online or download a digital copy of their video greeting.

RELATED: San Diego Chorus: Making magic with voices raised in song

The San Diego Chorus is making the personalized Birthday and Sweetheart Grams to make up for lost fundraising during the pandemic. If you'd like to order one for a loved one click here.

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