Deb Malewski
Contributing Writer

The Golden Oldies Choir from the Jean Bradford Kline (JBK) Senior Center in Eaton Rapids dropped in at Lockwood Elementary and Greyhound Central on Dec. 17 to sing Christmas carols with the students. The choir has also recently visited both Dimondale Center and Island City Assisted Living, to share the Christmas spirit with the residents there.
The Golden Oldies Choir began about five years ago as a program at the senior center and has flourished since, said director Rita Honeysett. Seniors from around the Eaton Rapids area, including Dimondale, Leslie and Onondaga, are part of the group.
“Every Monday morning at 10 a.m., a group of people gather around the piano at the JBK senior center and sing,” Honeysett said. “They come to sing for the sheer enjoyment of sharing their voices in song.
“Their repertoire is extensive and spans several genres of music. None of them are professional, but all of them are dedicated to the Golden Oldies Choir, as they are known.”
She said they prove the anonymous quote, “group singing is cheaper than therapy, healthier than drinking and certainly more fun than working out.”
Deb Rowlee, administrative assistant at the center, organized the visit to the schools.
“Now, tell me, what is cuter than singing ‘All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth’ with a group of kids in that exact situation?” Rowlee said. “(The singing) really lifts everyone’s spirit, and the kids get so excited.”
The average age of most of the senior singers is between 75 and 80. Their audience at the schools ranged in age from 3 to 5. The students were in kindergarten and developmental kindergarten.
“It was great for both the listeners and the singers, and a fun time was had by all.” Rowlee said.
Music teacher Karen Rose thought the event was a great way to expose the students to mature singers and to learn how to behave in a public situation.
“It’s music they might not normally be exposed to and a great opportunity to learn about our community,” Rose said.
For more information about the Golden Oldies Choir, contact the senior center at 517-663-2335.