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It's no secret that music is universal, bridging the gap between languages, ethnicity, religions, backgrounds and generations. With this in mind, an intergenerational choir concert has been put together, featuring the voices of middle school students from Hoover Math and Science Academy in Schaumburg, and older adult residents from Friendship Village Schaumburg. The event was held on May 13th at 7:30 p.m. in the Schaumburg High School auditorium.
The concert was coordinated by Sue Young, a resident of Friendship Village who has a lifelong passion for all things musical, She is retired from a long and prestigious career as a choral music instructor from Northbrook School District 28 and Northwestern University, as well as founder and conductor emeritus of Northbrook Community Choir.
As director of the Friendship Village Choir, Sue works with 40 resident vocalists representing a wide range of talent, experience and ability. "We have someone who sang with Grant Park Symphony Chorus, a retired operatic soloist, a former member of the Lyric Opera Chorus, and someone who still performs at the University of Chicago," said Sue. "We also have novice vocalists, and members of the choir with dementia, Parkinson's disease and other ailments. When you get us all together for music, it's all forgotten. When you hear the music, everyone is in a different place. It's hard to describe the phenomenon."
Sue was doing volunteer work at Hoover Math and Science Academy when she became acquainted with Lauren Bernacki, the music specialist at the school. While talking about choirs, they came up with the idea for a collaboration between the Hoover Harmonics 5th and 6th grade singers and the Friendship Village Choir. They started working on the logistics about a year ago.
The concert program included "Why We Sing" by Greg Gilpin, Katie Perry's "Fireworks", "Getting to Know You" and more. The Friendship Village Choir will sing the senior version of "My Favorite Things" which is a funny and irreverent version of The Sound of Music original.
The intergenerational component of the musical performance was magical. "Working with kids and seniors together, is a wonderful combination," said Sue.