Silvertones Senior Choir -- An Outreach Program of the Larimer Chorale

Silvertones Senior Choir of the Larimer Chorale, Fort Collins Colorado

Silvertones November 2014

Mission Statement:  To provide an avenue for active and older adults to sing for joy, health and camaraderie regardless of experience and expertise.  (Adopted September 2013)

Singing for Seniors is an outreach program of the Larimer Chorale that provides an avenue for active older adults to engage in recreational singing and realize their wellness and life-long learning goals. The emphasis is on camaraderie and singing for the fun of it.  The senior choir formed under this program is called the Silvertones of the Larimer Chorale. 

We conceived the idea for a senior choir after a city-wide "Silver Tsunami" study demonstrated the need for novel and complex recreational activities for our growing senior population.  The program demonstrates that learning, making, and sharing art enriches everyone throughout their lifetime.  This Artful Aging program addresses seniors’ needs for physical activity, mental stimulation, and cognitive engagement; provides an enjoyable community singing experience, fosters the realization of life-long learning goals; and encourages friendship and teamwork. The program fights ageism and raises community awareness of the proven health benefits of choral singing. 

This program is meant for active adults, ages 60 and up.  Participants come together for weekly rehearsals, engage in light stretching and warm-up exercises, learn good vocal technique, and practice about 10 songs per session.  The exercises are designed to increase stamina and improve balance, posture, and breathing.  The conductor provides or makes his own arrangements of 9-10 songs per session, all fitting a common theme and ranging in difficulty from pieces sung in unison to selections in four-part harmony.  The singers even learn a song in a foreign language each session to help improve memory and articulation! Overall, the program fosters friendships and laughter.  Members do not need to audition and they don't need to know how to read music. Silvertones experience the pure joy of making music. 

Participation Details

The Silvertones meet from mid-March through mid-November, in a series of three 10-week sessions. Weekly rehearsals are on Tuesdays, from 9:30 to 11:00 AM, at Christ United Methodist Church, located at 301 E. Drake, Fort Collins. The summer 2017 session will begin on June 13 and end with an informal public performance on August 22. Please register in advance by contacting the program's manager, Jennifer Marlowe at LCJenniferMarlowe@gmail.com or call (970) 775-4252. Dues are $30 for each 10-week session. If you cannot afford this, please ask the staff for a scholarship request form.

How is the Program Funded?

We receive a sponsorship from the AARP and grant from the City of Fort Collins Fort Fund.  Member dues and community donations allow us to meet the budget.  We are also grateful to the Rotary Club of Fort Collins for providing a generous grant in support of our music library.

Silvertones Larimer Chorale Of Thee I Sing, Fort Collins, Colorado
Program Staff
Michael Todd Krueger is the artistic director and conductor of the Larimer Chorale and the Silvertones.  He is the conductor of Voices West and the Minister of Music at King of Glory Lutheran Church in Arvada. He works creatively as a free-lance teacher, vocalist and composer/arranger along the Rocky Mountain Front Range. Dr. Krueger earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in music education from Luther College, a Master of Music degree in trumpet performance and jazz studies from the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley (UNC), and a doctorate in choral conducting and vocal studies from the University of Illinois.  He has served on the music faculties of Ithaca College, Morningside College, Millikin University, and the University of Wyoming.
 
Wendy White is the Larimer Chorale’s Executive Director.  She has a background in non-profit management.  She returned to her native Fort Collins after a 30 year career at the National Academy of Sciences. She has degrees in French and history (Macalester College); a master's degree in library science (University of Minnesota); and a post-graduate certificate in publishing (George Washington University). She enjoys telling the story of the Larimer Chorale and is particularly proud of her role in launching Singing for Seniors.  She provides overall management and does the publicity, fundraising, and advance planning for the program.
 
Jennifer Marlowe is the Administrative Assistant for the Larimer Chorale and project manager for Singing for Seniors. Jennifer recently moved to the Fort Collins area from Sacramento, California, where she taught chemistry and worked in the pharmaceutical industry. She has a bachelor's degree in Biology and Chemistry from the University of La Verne and a master's degree in organic chemistry from UC Davis. She is taking a break from chemistry to spend more time with her family and to become more involved in the local community, starting with Singing for Seniors and the Larimer Chorale.  Jennifer played the flute, sang with the jazz band in high school, and performed musical theater for several years. She is excited to get back to singing!
 
Alice Crawford is the accompanist for the Silvertones.  Alice is the Director of Children’s Ministry and Children’s Music at First Presbyterian Church, Fort Collins, and a frequent organist and accompanist in that church’s music program. Alice brings with her many years of experience, having worked in larger churches in New Jersey, Oregon, Idaho, Virginia, and Colorado. She has had many opportunities to accompany and perform major choral works as pianist or organist. Alice earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Westminster Choir College at Ryder University, Princeton, New Jersey.  Her principle instrument was the organ; her minor was in voice.  Alice is also an enthusiastic hammered dulcimer player. When not playing the organ, piano, or hammered dulcimer, Alice enjoys cycling, walking, swimming, sewing, and spoiling her grandchildren. 
 
Paddy Shannon is the volunteer Music Librarian for Singing for Seniors.  She is also the volunteer Facilities Manager and Production Coordinator for the Larimer Chorale.  Paddy is a founding member of the Larimer Chorale and has been singing with them since 1977.  She is the retired Materials Manager at CSU's Veterinary Teaching Hospital.  As Music Librarian, Paddy procures and organizes all new music for the Silvertones songbooks.  She also archives the music and tracks the inventory to assure we are using our resources wisely. 
 
Joey Waltz is an important volunteer for the Singing for Seniors program.  She has a B.S. from Penn State University in Elementary Education, with a focus on remedial reading. Ms. Waltz has sung with The Houston Chorale, Ventura County Master Chorale, Colorado Chorale, Fort Collins Women’s Choral Group, and the Festival Singers at First Presbyterian Fort Collins. She has been a member of the Larimer Chorale since 1991 and currently serves on its Board of Directors. She works at every Singing for Seniors rehearsal to greet singers, help them find nametags and music, accommodate special needs, and set up the social time (with refreshments) that follows each rehearsal.  Ms. Waltz says she volunteers for the Silvertones as a way of giving back to the Larimer Chorale, a source of support and a very meaningful part of her life.  She says: “for me, singing is as necessary as speaking.”