Dressed in red blazers, the women walked out in single file, while men, wearing black shirts with red bow ties, followed behind. The show was about to commence.
The Scarborough Village Singers choir performed at Cedarbrook Lodge Retirement Residence on Markham Road on Dec. 16 to bring Christmas cheer to residents, staff and volunteers.
“Everyone loves Christmas music,” said Karin Sansom, the home’s director of recreation. “[The singers] rehearsed here earlier this year and they come here annually, putting on their Christmas show for us,”
The choir is unusual in another way too..
“This group is unique in the fact that they are singers and entertaining seniors, but they are also seniors themselves,” Sansom said. “One of our residents is actually a member of this choir, which is the first time that’s happened.”
Song sheets containing lyrics to well-known Christmas carols were handed out to the audience prior to the performance.
“Many of the residents here know the music, but they also know us because we come here every year and that’s what keeps them coming back to see us,” said Wilma Chang, who has been a member of the choir for five years. “It is a lot of sacrifice for us seniors coming here, considering the amount of snow and the fact that some of us are on walkers, but we do it because we love to entertain everyone and we have grown to love everyone here.”
Cedarbrook residents range from their late 60s to 104 years old and there is a variety of activities that cater to all interests.
“Residents love to be involved,” Samson said. “They love to watch the dancers, to watch children come in and dance for them and to see other seniors perform.”
Events such as the Christmas concert show residents they are never too old to be involved.
“I always tell people that retirement home living is a choice,” Samson said. “You do not have to wait until you are sick, to be living here. You want to come to a retirement home when you are well, when you can participate in everything we have to offer and most of all, to have fun.”