Recovery through music for the MN Adult and Teen Challenge Choir

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Drug and alcohol addiction damages the lives of so many in the Northland, and that’s why organizations like Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge are so important. To help people recover and get their lives back on track.

One staff member is helping men in need through the art of music in the organization’s choir.

Brandon Torgerson the Center Director says, "The guys realize pretty early on that they can sing sometimes and it’s a gift and they get to share that with people."

The choir is an outlet of joy for the men in recovery at Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge, as their choir continues to provide a space to share stories of perseverance through addiction.

Torgerson says, “Being able to sing in a choir, it does so much for you. The mental health in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, I mean it’s just a really cool thing. And it’s something that they, again, I think at first they don’t really look forward to it and then eventually they look forward to choir practice and going out with the choir. Just really a win-win for the community and for our guys."

The choir is led by newcomer director Clinton Strother who has always lived with music in his heart. "Music is in my bones it’s in my DNA. I hear music in my head all the time,” says the Director.

But with Clinton’s experience with addiction and a ten year prison sentence… the role of choir director seemed almost unattainable.

Strother says, "That’s been a journey that I didn’t think was going to happen. I’ve always wanted to be a choir director, but I never envisioned that this would happen."

And now Clinton’s strong leadership is guiding the rest of the men at Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge. The bond is made strong by understanding.

Clinton says, "I’ve walked the same path that they’ve walked I’ve done the same things that they’ve done. I’ve suffered, addiction has taken so much from my life. And by the grace of God I came out of it. Recovery is real. Recovery works."

And recovery continues to help the men involved with the power of music. But it’s more than performing. Clinton says, "It’s about ministry. It’s about ‘my life has been changed my live has been redeemed and I didn’t do it on my own. You know I did it with the help of the men around me and with the help of Christ.’’