The Golden Tones chorus is a 70-voice chorus of retired people who love to sing! The chorus began in 1988 as a sing-along activity offered at the Wayland Senior Center. Over time, it evolved into a vibrant performing chorus of men and women from all over the MetroWest Boston area. The group, which recently celebrated its 25th Anniversary Silver Jubilee, performs at nursing homes, senior centers, schools, and public events bringing over 50 live concerts a year to underserved audiences in the MetroWest and Greater Boston community. Their mission is to “lift spirits, have fun, and promote health and social engagement to benefit our audiences and ourselves.”
At a concert at Boston University, the chorus performed for incoming freshman who were about to start a community service program working with older adults in nursing homes. As the Golden Tones chorus sang and danced they were simultaneously showing the students a side to aging they do not often see as well as how to brighten a room.
The Golden Tones chorus proved to be successful at capturing their young audience. As soon as the concert started, the students were cheering and singing along. The group sings a range of songs depending on the season and their audience. For this concert the chorus sang songs for the summer including, “Hazy Crazy Lazy Days of Summer,” a song to welcome the students to Boston, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and other crowd pleasers from Disney movies including, “Beauty and the Beast” and “Kiss the Girl.” Perhaps the best parts of the concert were the skits and dances that accompanied each song. It is not uncommon to see a pair of chorus members weaving through the audience in costumes at concerts. The students were engaged and were eager to hear the next song. One of the students remarked, “This was the highlight of my day.”
At the end of the concert students asked questions and the Golden Tones members shared advice. Students asked about when the members started singing, how they became passionate about music and how they came to the Golden Tones group. While some of the chorus members have had a history performing, the chorus does not hold auditions to get in. As one member said, “The only requirement for joining us is that you like to sing.”
The group has the ability to bring a smile to anyone’s face. Members of the group who answered questions from the student audience commented on how much love and support they received from being a part of the chorus. The clear passion and joy members have is written all over their faces and is evident in their performances. The Golden Tones chorus can teach all of us that we have fun to look forward to in our golden years.
This story was published originally in the Tufts Health Plan Foundation’s September 12, 2012 newsletter and updated in November 2013.