Young@Heart chorus members bring not only their talented vocals to the stage but also an energy that’s tangible, filling any performance venue with joy. The nearly 30 singers range in age from 73 to 89, and they know how to bring a crowd to life—and to their feet.
We’re offering three events this fall to help you come to know the spirit of Young@Heart, and if you attend all three, you may come to know some of the individuals as well. The first, a viewing of Young@Heart’s award-winning documentary and a Q and A with several performers, is tomorrow—Oct. 11—at 2 p.m. on our campus at Tabor Crossing in Longmeadow, Massachusetts.
Young@Heart Director Bob Cilman says that of the chorus members who take part in “Rock ’N Talk,” at least one, Steve Martin, will have first-hand experience of the 2006 filming of the documentary, which is about 90 minutes long. “He’ll have a lot to say about the whole process,” Bob says. “It’s kind of a throwback to us.”
Bob says the film, which made its debut in Britain before being introduced in the United States in 2008, is available online for all audiences and has gotten a lot of traction, being used by sociology, gerontology, and music classes at different universities. The story line, he says, is something that’s inspirational to viewers of all ages.
“There are people who are coming back to have one last real shot at singing again after going through major illnesses,” he explains. “We lose some chorus members in the process, and it’s pretty heart wrenching. The storytelling is quite compelling.”
The second Young@Heart event will be held Nov. 6. “Groovin’ with the Oldies” will offer an open rehearsal with chorus members at 2 p.m., also at Glenmeadow. This presentation offers a behind-the-scenes chance to watch the chorus rehearse, learn, and prepare for a third event we will take part in—a day trip to the Nov. 19 Young@Heart concert at Northampton’s Academy of Music Theatre.
“Open rehearsal will be a chance to see us working on stuff that we’ll be performing in the Nov. 19 concert,” Bob says. “Some of it may be stuff we know well, and some may be stuff we’re getting anxious about, and it could be the first time we get to practice it in front of an audience.”
Bob says participants should not come expecting a polished performance but instead a view of the artistic process.
During the concert, the chorus will team up with the nationally renowned Brooklyn Youth Chorus to perform music ranging from Leonard Cohen to the Psychedelic Furs. Inmates at the Hampshire County Jail and House of Correction and the Western Massachusetts Regional Women’s Correctional Center in Chicopee will also perform. Those who attend the performance with us will enjoy a three-course dinner at the Delaney House following the show.
The first two Young@Heart programs are free and offered through Glenmeadow Learning, one of many free programs Glenmeadow presents to members of the wider community, representing one facet of our mission to serve seniors across the region and to operate as a socially accountable organization.
Tickets to the concert are $99 and are offered through Glenmeadow Getaways, which provides day trips to performance venues around the region.
Registration is required, and seating is limited for each event, so register soon online or by calling 413.567.7800.