Silvertones Choir for Older Adults -- 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)

In 2012, the Larimer Chorale created a choir program that provides an avenue for active older adults to engage in recreational singing and 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. 

Artistic Director, Michael Todd Krueger, and recently-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 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 55 and up.  Participants come together for weekly rehearsals, engage in light stretching and warm-up exercises, learn good vocal technique, and practice the songs chosen for that session. The exercises are designed to increase stamina and improve balance, posture, and breathing.  The conductor carefully selects or makes his own arrangements of 10 -15 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 often learn a song in a foreign language 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 Silvertones do not meet in December, January, and February.  The fall 2018 session will start on September 4, 2018. You may register by contacting the Larimer Chorale at larimerchorale@gmail.com or at 970-416-9348. Dues are $35 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 AARP and grants from the City of Fort Collins Fort Fund and the Anschutz Family Foundation.  Member dues and community donations allow us to meet the budget.  

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.
 
Alice Crawford is the Larimer Chorale's accompanist and concert performer and the accompanist for the Silvertones Senior Choir. Alice is the Church Musician/Organist at Trinity Lutheran Church in Fort Collins. 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. 
 
Paddy Shannon is the volunteer Music Librarian for Singing for Seniors, procuring, organizing, archiving, and tracking music and preparing the Silvertones songbooks.  
 
Joey Waltz volunteers each week, greeting singers, helping them find nametags and music, accommodating special needs, and setting up the social time (with refreshments) that follows each rehearsal.