GLEN GARDNER, NJ - A celebration lunch was held at the Hunterdon County YMCA’s Active Older Adult Center in Glen Gardner to mark the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Silver Belles and Beaus senior singing group. Ranging in age from 68 to “90-something,” these talented men and women come together on Thursday mornings to learn new songs and rehearse familiar favorites.
Each spring and fall, the group performs at local nursing homes, schools and veterans’ facilities. This team of 24 volunteers is proud to support the mission of the YMCA by reaching out to multiple facets of the community – young and old.
In 1994, recently retired music teacher Alice Ross volunteered to lead a sing-along activity at the Y Senior Center (now known as the Active Older Adult Center). The session was such a success that it became a regular activity. Joined by accompanist Elinor Bettis, the group was soon learning arrangements of popular music, patriotic tunes, Broadway hits, and everything in between. Member Sally Hoff felt the group should have a name and the “Silver Belles” was born. When a few gentlemen joined the group, “and Beaus” was added.
After leading the group for 14 years, Ross and Bettis felt it was time to retire. Michele Collins of Clinton Township was asked to take over as conductor. Retired music teacher Craig Hughes of High Bridge is the current accompanist.
Through the years, the group has had as few as seven members and is currently at its largest with 24 members. Last November, Silver Belles and Beaus performed at the “Joyeux Noel” ecumenical concert at Immaculate Conception Church in Annandale, along with many other local church and community groups, including the Hunterdon Harmonizers.
New members are always welcome. There are no auditions, and members do not need to read music.
Fall rehearsals begin on Thursday, September 5 at 9:45 a.m. If you love to sing and share music with others, call Michele Collins at 908-236-0595 for more information.