The Penticton Tune-Agers may not be able to put on their 50th anniversary concert, but they’re keeping the music alive through Zoom. (Penticton Tune-Agers - YouTube)

The Penticton Tune-Agers may not be able to put on their 50th anniversary concert, but they’re keeping the music alive through Zoom. (Penticton Tune-Agers - YouTube)

Penticton seniors choir moves online during pandemic

The Penticton Tune-Agers use Zoom to practice their music

About 50 years ago, a group of music-loving folks came together to form the Penticton Tune-Agers.

The group consists of musicians and singers who want to get together, play music and sing. Tune-Ager Peggy Whitley said the group was started not only as a way to make music together but also to provide seniors with a social circle.

“It was a time when most seniors lived alone and there weren’t any ‘senior residences’,” she said.

“This group was started as a way to get seniors together and it worked.”

The choir and orchestra were supposed to celebrate its 50th anniversary with a spring concert titled ‘50 Years of Song’; however, due to COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings and travel, they have had to postpone the in-person concert.

The group’s singers and musicians have been rehearsing online through Zoom calls, to keep the music going without risking anyone’s health.

Whitley said, right now, they’re keeping up with the Zoom rehearsals but they haven’t made other plans for a future concert, as too much is unknown.

“The Tune-Agers have been putting together concerts in Penticton a couple of times a year for a long time now and the spring concert this year would’ve focused on our 50 years, but it just isn’t going to happen,” she said.

“If things ease up, we might be able to have a concert. But looking at everything that’s happening with COVID-19, I don’t think we’re going to be putting on a concert. The Tune-Agers number about 50 people, and we can’t get together with that many people. It’s not safe right now.”

In the meantime, the group recorded a number via Zoom, which you can watch right now. As for future ‘virtual’ numbers such as this one, she said they’ll be working on it.

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Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
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