Seniors Sing Their Hearts Out!
In just over a year, PALS CHORUS has become Vancouver’s most vibrant, cutting edge seniors choir 55 and over. Under the direction of Lonnie Delisle, the chorus of thirty singers has been given new energy, with the kind of programming that moves far beyond the usual repertoire for seniors, taking on songs like Adele’s Rolling in the Deep, and combining it with Lady Gaga’s outrageous Bad Romance while throwing in spirited choreography. Whether the concerts are performed in the PAL theatre on Cardero St. in Vancouver, or at the launch of SFU’s public square where audiences were treated to a flash-mob entrance with PALS Chorus singing Man in the Mirror, standing ovations are no longer an unexpected surprise. Some chorus members were (and still are) professional singers with long careers, but no one feels intimidated; the only requisite is a love of singing.
If, heaven forbid, “Oldifying” sounds creep into the delivery, Lonnie yanks it from its roots, explaining the perils of “performing like lounge singers…getting sloppy, making it schmaltzy, straightening out the challenging rhythms. It becomes cheesy, like Muzak, and you may think you’re becoming more accessible to a wider audience but Don’t Do That. Hit the notes exactly where they are, do it bang on, and you will be youthful and current.”
The parallels between PALS Chorus and Young at Heart are evident to Lonnie: “What I found so inspiring and encouraging about Young at Heart, was seeing people find a place where they belong. I’ve seen seniors who get forgotten about…their spouse dies and they’re in an old folks’ home and they’re hanging out without much to do and so they play bridge, and just hang out.
Stand up and SING your heart out. It’s good for the soul!