Harbour Singers will present a Singing For Those at the End of Life conference Saturday, Oct. 24, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Maple Hill Farm Conference Center, 11 Inn Road. The conference will offer an in-depth look at ways to establish or nurture a bedside singing group to comfort and support the ill and dying through song.

Harbour Singers conductor Ellie Rolnick said that while there are several choirs in Maine that sing at bedside, including ones based in Rockland and Belfast, many areas are still underserved. Part of the reason for the conference is to help get end-of-life singing groups established in areas that do not yet have them.

“We hope to give people interested in this compassionate service the knowledge and resources they can use to enhance what they hope to do or already do,” she said.

Keynote speaker at the conference is Kathy Leo, who in 2003 co-founded Hallowell Singers of Vermont, one of the oldest bedside singing groups in the country. A former midwife, Leo’s understanding of life’s transitions as natural and powerful times of great opening informs her practice and shapes her teaching.

End-of-life singing groups from across the state will also share information about how they created their groups and share favorite songs. Breakout sessions will allow participants to ask questions and exchange experiences.

Harbor Singers is a group of volunteers based in Saco that sings for patients at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough and at nursing homes in Cumberland and York counties. The conference is made possible through a grant from the Hospice Fund of the Maine Community Foundation. For more information or to register, call 286-7678 or visit harboursingers.org.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.