Words: Amanda Ali
Vintage Voices is a club at Centennial High School that performs nostalgic songs for housebound seniors that live at nursing homes and assisted living communities. They also sing and dance to Swing Era music, mostly from the 1930s to the 1950s. This group started as a Girl Scout Gold Award project last year for senior Vintage Voices president and founder Becky Goodridge. It continues strong this year with double the size of members from the first year.
At their performances, they socialize with the housebound seniors after every show while handing out small mementos that match their show’s theme. The senior residents love to chat with the members and love their repertoire of songs, which proves that these shows are very therapeutic for the seniors.
“It allows them to forget about their troubles while also encouraging them to socialize with us and other residents,” said Goodridge, “as they reminisce about that era.”
Although the group has only existed for one year, they have already performed a total of 10 times. Their most recent performance was at Ft. Meade’s Officers’ Club for a Veterans Appreciation Day Luncheon, which had a crowd of approximately 200 veterans and guests. It was an honor and a thrill for the group to be invited there. They sang and danced to three Irving Berlin military show tunes, as well as an Andrews Sisters song from WWII.
Vintage Voices does not normally perform for audiences that are mobile and still able to go places, but all of their audiences enjoy nostalgic music from their youth. The group as already received three additional requests to perform again from their Ft. Meade performance.
“I’m thrilled with our group’s leadership in our community and our membership’s enthusiasm to help others,” said Goodridge. “[I] feel privileged to be associated with such a great group of Centennial students.”
Although they have many performances, they had two specific holiday performances in the month of December. On Dec. 21 they performed for Winter Growth Inc., a senior center, and they also performed on Dec. 22 for a cold weather shelter for Grassroots. Both of those performances were sing-alongs with a mix of holiday and winter music.