Senior Singers make beautiful music at the Rec Center

8 Dec

Singing just for the fun of it.

That’s the philosophy behind the Senior Singers, an enthusiastic group of older adults who meet every Tuesday at the Webster Recreation Center to sing, socialize and — two or three times a year — share their love for music with the greater Webster community.

For almost 40 years, the Senior Singers have offered older adults a no-cost, no-stress opportunity to rehearse and perform music. Comprised of both men and women 55 and over, the group rehearses every Tuesday at 11 a.m. in a small room at the Recreation Center from September through June, taking two months off during the summer. And two or three times a year, especially before their summer break and at holiday time, they move into the Center’s large multipurpose room to present community concerts, performing Broadway show tunes, old standards and holiday favorites.

The group is expertly led by Sylvia Vazzana. A long-time member of the chorus, Sylvia only stepped into the directorial role recently, a consequence of the pandemic.

Before the pandemic hit, the group was going strong, with about 20 regularly-attending members. But like everything else, during the shutdown, they had to stop meeting for a while. When they were finally able to reconvene, the group had dwindled to only 9 members. And they had lost their director.

“We used to have a director from Hochstein,” Sylvia remembered. When she didn’t return, “I went in to (Senior Coordinator Daphne Geoca) and said, ‘I’m a musical director. I’d be very happy to volunteer my time.'” Since then, the group has become stronger than ever, boasting about 25 members.

Sylvia is assisted by her husband Tom, who usually acts as emcee for the concerts. She, Tom, the singers and the musicians who accompany them, are all volunteers.

The concerts are true crowd-pleasers. At their end-of-season concert last June, the group performed a selection of classics and old-time favorites, including “No Business Like Show Business,” “Second-hand Rose,” “Good ‘Ol Summertime,” “Memories,” and a ragtime piece on the piano. Their holiday concert is coming up next Sunday, Dec. 20, and will be packed with vocal and instrumental holiday favorites.

And don’t be fooled. Even though the chorus members have put a lot of years behind them, their voices are still strong and beautiful. “They’ve all been singing for many, many years,” Sylvia noted.

But that doesn’t mean you need to have a lot of experience to join the group. No auditions are necessary; the only things you really need are the desire to make beautiful music and make a lot of new friends.

At the June concert, Tom captured the Senior Singers philosophy best when he told the audience, “Music has the power to make you smile and bring us to all types of tears. It can carry us back in time and inspire us to dance in the moment. For all our happiest days and our saddest, there is music. We love to entertain you. We love show business.”

The Senior Singers will present their Holiday Performance on Tuesday Dec. 20 at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Dr., beginning at 11 a.m. There’s no charge and registration is not necessary. So take a moment out of your day, stop by to hear some beautiful music, and perhaps consider joining this fun group.

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(posted 12/8/2022)

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