Hinesburg, Vermont - September 23, 2011
"It's a hobby that has become a very important part of my life," Steve Martin said.
For Martin, singing has been his favorite part of what he calls his "Golden Years."
"Someone asked me where I placed the chorus, I said after God and Country-- they probably come in third," Martin said with a laugh.
For the last 11 years, Martin has been a member a chorus group "Young @ Heart" which is comprised of 30 senior citizens. Despite their age, the chorus group has toured all over the world, performing music from all different genres and time periods.
"It's just revitalized our lifestyle and we feel extremely fortunate that when that curtain goes up, we forget all about the walking canes, the wheelchairs, and, you know, the hips," Martin said.
The group has a minimum age requirement of 73. Their oldest singer is 89, but they all say it's the music that keeps them "Young @ Heart."
Carl Recchia, the choral music director at Champlain Valley Union High School, contacted the Flynn Center and asked the chorus to visit his classroom, an invitation they gladly accepted.
"For me, it's about the relationship that happens immediately and authentically, just because we've broken down that 80-year-old or 70-year-old barrier because we all do the same thing, we sing and we recognize that human connection," Recchia said.
"I think it just shows that you can keep singing, keep boppin' around even when you're older, you don't have to settle down and stop living life, you can keep on doing these fun things," said Alicia Phelps of the CVU Vocal Ensemble.
Martin hopes that the Young @ Heart chorus sends a message to people both young and old.
"I hope we're an inspiration for the elderly people who see us perform and for the young people who may look at aging in a different way, don't be afraid of it," he said.
Two groups of people-- generations apart-- together in perfect harmony.