WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2014/2015

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/410492

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Page 97 of 227

The magic of music The Golden Tones chorus began more than a quarter century ago with about a dozen seniors in Wayland who would just gather around the piano to sing for the fun of it. Today, they number more than 60 members from throughout the western suburbs. "There's a perception that we're a bunch of old people. But anyone who sees us in action will see we still have a lot of energy and spark," said Caroline Jacobs, 75, a retired Harvard administrator. Landry, who lives in Wayland, didn't start singing in public until he was in his 40s and friends persuaded him to take part in a karaoke night. He said that by nature he's shy, but give him a microphone and he's transformed into a showman. Bob Mosher, an 80-year-old retired Polaroid engineer from Weston, says he has been singing since he was in his college glee club. He sings bass in the Golden Nuggets, a subset of the chorus that does more multipart numbers. Particularly satisfying, he says, is being able "to bring a little joy to people who don't get an awful lot of joy." His wife, Cindy, makes the bowties for the guys, which go from gold to red around the holidays and to green for St. Patrick's Day. As men, Mosher and Landry are outnumbered by more than three to one by the women in the chorus. But that tends to be typical for sen- iors' groups as well as community performing groups at large. Anyone can join, regardless of musical experience; there are no auditions. "There's safety in numbers. And there are enough people who can stay on key that the occasional person who is new to choral singing is brought along with the crowd," says Deborah Marion, the full-time director, who manages and rehearses the chorus, selects the program, books performance dates, and coordinates fundraising. Besides Marion, only the group's two professional piano accompanists are paid. Members aren't obligated to attend every concert and rehearsal. They have formed a caring committee to visit colleagues who are ailing or have lost loved ones. "We're a pretty close-knit community," says Jacobs. "We look after each other, not just in our singing lives." The singing itself appears to be good medicine, according to anec- dotal evidence and preliminary scientific research. Just ask Joan Aureli of Wayland, 79, who says she found it easier to sing than speak after recovering from her third stroke. When her sciatica isn't acting up, she also plays the violin. She did so professionally for many years with the Waterbury Symphony. But what excited her most at BU was a student who told her she had attended all three of the chorus's annual con- certs. Inspired by Aureli's example, the student, now a senior, stuck with violin despite a heavy course load. 96 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | w i n t e r 2 0 1 4 / 2 0 1 5 Beyond Bingo Caroline Jacobs (with microphone) tells a joke during a Golden Tones chorus performance of "Make 'Em Laugh" from Singing in the Rain M A R I E C R A I G

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