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Singing For Seniors

The BCCS Singing for Seniors program has held two festivals each year since 2005 when BCCS Artistic Director Thomas Lloyd invited the late Helen Kemp, emeritus professor of Westminster Choir College and then conductor of a resident choir at The Manor of Yorktown in Jamison to join him in establishing a new program in support senior singers and the growing number of senior choirs in our region. Since that first festival, over 3000 seniors have participated.

The program is designed around several objectives with the first being that singing into one’s golden years promotes emotional, physical, and mental vitality. As Helen Kemp was fond of saying, "You don't stop singing because you grow old; you grow old because you stop singing." All senior communities are encouraged to form choirs with this concept in mind. Groups such as the Delaware Valley Choral Society, directed by Tom King, have been in existence since 1955. Other choirs are newly formed or in the process of seeking volunteer leadership so that they too may participate. However, regardless if you are part of an organized choir, retirement community or not, all senior singers are encouraged to attend.

Following Helen Kemp's retirement from conducting (at age 94!) the festival has featured several guest clinicians, including Suzanne DuPlantis (Bryn Mawr Presbtyerian Church senior choir director and frequent BCCS soloist), Heather Buchanan (director of choral activities at Montclair State University), Cari Tellis (speech-language pathologist at Misericordia University), Sandra Stouffer (Riddle Village Senior Choir), and Susan Johnson (Council Rock District choral director). 

The Choral Society's Singing for Seniors program has been nationally recognized through Chorus America, the choral industry’s national association (click here for 2007 feature article in The Voice of Chorus America). Festivals are held twice a year during Spring and Fall. Anyone interested in providing volunteer leadership and is part of any Bucks and Montgomery County senior center or community seeking more information, should contact the Choral Society via our Contact Page.

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