Meet Janice


Listening to music has been proven to make you happier trhough the release of dopamine, “the happy hormone,” which is released when you listen to music. Listening to music also lowers cortisol levels, the stress hormone. Furthermore, listening to certain types of music can help lower depression and improve your sleep.

Improved mood can lead to enhancements in our functionality in other activities such as driving — if we are in a better mood driving, our performance improves. The benefits of making music are even greater. In addition to the above listed advantages, participating in a choir further develops our memory, learning and intelligence.

Physically, singing improves our breathing, posture and muscle tension. Who knew whether listening or participating in music had such a wide range of effects?

Our community has been lucky to have numerous musicians enrich our community life through their talents which they generously share. One musician, in particular, has enhanced the culture of her faith community, educational experience of our youth, and our community at large.

Janice Farrow (nee Hickey) grew up in a musical family. Her mom Helen was a formally trained pianist, while her dad Len loved to sing, play the harmonica and tap dance. Most of her six siblings are musically inclined to various degrees. This musician is a homegrown talent.

She attended Lindsley Public School and still remembers the songs taught to her by her grade four teacher, Mrs. Hykin. Janice went on to Levack District High School, where she developed a love of language and literature under the tutelage of Mrs. McMillan. This future teacher attended Laurentian University and Nipissing University for her Bachelor’s in Education.

Her music education is as varied as her talents: piano lessons, guitar lessons and choral direction from Sister Bonnie Jean Chesser. Through Nipissing University, she took music courses and studied with a vocal music specialist. She also had choral training in earlier years singing in such choirs as Sudbury Chamber Singers, Bel Canto under the direction of Dr. Douglas Webb and Four Counties Choir in London, Ontario.

After post-secondary school Janice returned to the community, sharing her expertise with the students of Levack District High School, Levack Public School and Larchwood Public School.

Mrs. Farrow gives of her talents in a variety of capacities. At St. Bartholomew’s she has served as a Chorister and guitarist, for over a span of 45 years bringing music to mass each Sunday. She has directed children’s choirs and Cantata choirs for over three decades.

Through her musical direction, celebrations of faith are deepened. Her Christmas Cantatas and Easter musicals are enjoyed by the community at large, and the funeral choir she participates in comforts those in need.

A highlight from her years directing at Larchwood Public School was having a her choir recommend that she compete provincially at the Kiwanis Music Festival. Other fond memories include bringing her Larchwood students to participate in Guitars Alive.

Mrs. Farrow’s gift of music exposed her students to opportunities they would not have otherwise had which further developed their learning and intelligence. Additionally, Janice has volunteered at the Kiwanis Festival, served on her parish council and taught religion classes.

Today, Janice is retired from the Rainbow District School board after 30 years of service. She remains busy with her interests in swimming, bicycling, theatre and of course music. Janice and husband of 38 years, Brent reside in Onaping.

Music continues to be a family affair. All of her children and Brent sing in the Cantata Choir: Sheena Nagy-Farrow, Nathan Farrow, Caitlin Farrow and her daughter-in-law Courtney Farrow. As well, three of her grandchildren sing in the children’s choir: Avery Farrow, Braeden Farrow and Owen Nagy. Her son in law Joe Nagy and other two grandchildren, Aislinn Nagy and Lenna Nagy, form the groupies in the front row!

If you are interested in any of the above mentioned benefits, I suggest you seek out a performance of one of Mrs. Farrow’s choirs. Or even better, get in touch with her to see about joining one of her talented choirs.

The Next Cantata Choir performance ‘Calvary’s Love’ will be Friday, April 19, 2019, at 7 pm… Everyone is welcome!