Golden Tones recruiting senior singers

By Lauri Voter - Staff Writer
Stafford - posted Thu., Dec. 1, 2011
New director Lida Miller leads the Golden Tones during their Wednesday morning rehearsal. Photos by Lauri Voter.
New director Lida Miller leads the Golden Tones during their Wednesday morning rehearsal. Photos by Lauri Voter.

The Stafford Senior Center's Golden Tones singing group is looking for resurgence. Under the new direction of Lida Miller, the group hopes to add new faces and voices to its assembly of octaves.

Miller, in a sense, is picking up the pieces of a diminishing group. Many of its elderly members, including its most recent accompanist, Gloria Ducharme, have passed away, leaving some voids that need to be filled. To bridge the gap, Miller, who is also the organist and choir director at St. Edward Church, offered to help, and subsequently assumed the directorship of the group.

The Golden Tones was originally founded by Joyce Steimer, current parish administrator of Grace Episcopal Church, who led the group for seven years. At that time, the Golden Tones had vests and ties made for each member. The chorus entertained at regional senior centers, festivals and as part of concert series.

Miller said the group still plans to conduct one or two seasonally-inspired performances per month by entertaining at senior centers such as Fox Hill in Vernon, Blair Manor in Enfield and Evergreen in Stafford Springs. To this end, Miller and the Golden Tones began their morning rehearsal on Nov. 30 by collecting their sheet music from the table where Miller had displayed it, and practicing “Silver Bells,” “White Christmas,” “Deck the Halls” and a wealth of other yuletide favorites, in preparation for their holiday performance at Evergreen on Dec. 12 at 2 p.m.

It was a past performance at Evergreen that inspired Golden Tones member Ruth Stone to join the chorus. “I do this because my mother was a patient at Evergreen, and that was the first time I saw them singing. She had a great time,” said Stone, who joined the group after retiring from 31 years as a school bus driver.

Zdenka “Jean” Soukup said she just likes to sing. She spent some of her youth in the Czech Republic, and sang there as well. She returned to the United States in 1935. She is a “Golden Tone.”

The Stafford Senior Center's Golden Tones chorus is currently recruiting new members. Seniors interested in joining the group should contact the Stafford Senior Center at 860-684-3906.

Send comments and story ideas to Lauri Voter at lvoter@remindernet.com.


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