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About the Silvertones

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)

In 2012, the Larimer Chorale created a choir program that provides an avenue for active older adults to engage in recreational singing and to realize their wellness and life-long learning goals. The emphasis of the choir is on camaraderie and singing for the fun of it. The senior choir is called the Silvertones, a name chosen by the members themselves.

Artistic Director, Michael Todd Krueger, and retired Executive Director, Wendy D. White, conceived the idea for a senior choir after a city-wide "Silver Tsunami" study demonstrated the need for novel and complex recreational activities for the area's growing senior population. The program demonstrates that learning, making, and sharing art enriches everyone throughout their lifetime. This senior choir 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 55 and up and is currently under the direction of Marvin L. Crawford. Participants come together for weekly rehearsals to engage in light stretching and vocal warm-up exercises, to learn effective vocal technique, and to practice the songs chosen for that session. The exercises are designed to increase stamina and improve balance, posture, and breathing. The conductor chooses selections fitting a common theme and ranging in difficulty from pieces sung in unison to selections in four-part harmony. The singers often learn a song in a foreign language to help improve memory and articulation! Overall, the program fosters friendships, laughter, and social connection. 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 September through May, in two 15-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 Silvertones generally do not meet in late December or early January. For more information you may contact the Larimer Chorale at larimerchorale.fortcollins@gmail.com or contact Sylvia Godsey, Lead Volunteer, at sylgodsey@comcast.net.

How is the Program Funded?

We receive a sponsorship from grants from the City of Fort Collins Fort Fund and the NextFifty Initiative. Member dues and community donations allow us to meet the budget.

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Program Staff

Marvin Crawford is the conductor of the Silvertones Senior Choir. A full-time church musician for 48 years, he has served in large churches in several states, most recently for 15 years at First Presbyterian Church in Fort Collins. One of his special interests has been leading bell choirs. Mr. Crawford earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Church Music from Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey and a Master of Music degree in Music Education with an emphasis in Conducting from Boise State University in Boise, Idaho. He also holds an Advanced Graduate Certificate of Worship Studies from the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies in Jacksonville, Florida.

Alice Crawford is the Larimer Chorale's accompanist and concert performer and the accompanist for the Silvertones Senior Choir. 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. She 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.

Sylvia Godsey is the Lead Volunteer for the Silvertones. She provides administrative support for the program.