Rock’n’rollers go Down Un­der

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By ES­THER LAUAKI

They may not be liv­ing the tra­di­tional rock’n’roll life­style, but the singers of the Young@Heart cho­rus are still rock­ing out on stages all over the world.

The choir, which wrapped up its first Kiwi tour last week, trav­elled through Auck­land, Hamil­ton, Christchurch and Palmer­ston North. The singers stopped for lunch in Porirua at Aotea’s Sum­mer­set Re­tire­ment Vil­lage last week, fol­low­ing their Welling­ton con­cert.

When Bob Cil­man and Ju­dith Sharpe formed Young@ Heart in 1982, all the mem­bers lived in Wal­ter Salvo House, a hous­ing project for the el­derly in Northamp­ton, Mas­sachusetts, United States.

The orig­i­nal group in­cluded mem­bers who had lived through both world wars. One had fought in the Bat­tle of the Somme as a 16-year-old and an­other, Anna Main, lost her hus­band in World War I.

An ac­claimed doc­u­men­tary was later made about the choir, which puts a newold spin on mod­ern pop, rock and hip-hop.

Last Tues­day the Sum­mer­set res­i­dents treated their guests to a Maori Christ­mas carol, Te Aranui, and a ren­di­tion of Fred Dagg’s The Gum­boot Song.

Tour co-or­di­na­tor Trisha Macpher­son said the mem­bers of Young@Heart ‘‘ab­so­lutely loved’’ their trip Down Un­der.

‘‘[They] love to watch peo­ple like them­selves just get up and do it, and do it be­cause they love it.’’


‘‘It was about catch­ing up with a whole lot of dif­fer­ent peo­ple of a sim­i­lar age group and sim­i­lar in­ter­ests.

‘‘The week was lovely. They en­joyed them­selves, they loved the peo­ple, the ho­tels, the coun­try, Air New Zealand.

‘‘It’s not easy tour­ing with 50 peo­ple and six wheel­chairs, but it was great.’’

Wicked Wellies: Aotea’s Sum­mer­set Re­tire­ment Home res­i­dents per­formed a Kiwi clas­sic, Fred Dagg’s The Gum­boot

for vis­it­ing choral group Young@Heart on De­cem­ber 14.


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