Rock’n’rollers go Down Under
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.