Golden Tones Chorus photo credit Marie Picard Craig

Golden Tones Chorus

Organization Associated with Program
Golden Tones Chorus
41 Cochituate Road
Wayland, Massachusetts 01778

The award-winning Golden Tones Chorus is a 60-voice ensemble composed of retired people who love to sing and dance to lift spirits, have fun, and promote health and social engagement. There is no audition required to join the chorus; the group subscribes to the African proverb, “If you can walk, you can dance; if you can talk, you can sing.” The group comes together on a weekly basis for a two-hour session to practice singing September through June. With its enthusiastic members, the Golden Tones Chorus brings lively concerts almost every week to underserved audiences in the Metro West Boston area. Golden Tones concerts present well-rehearsed choral music enhanced by solos, ensemble pieces, humorous skits, fun costumes, and lively dancing. The group travels to many towns across eastern Massachusetts each season, performing about 50 concerts each year for long-term care facilities, senior centers, faith communities, public events, and intergenerational events with local schools. The chorus is led by a full-time Director, Deborah Marion, who is a professional choral artist and experienced arts manager and began working with the group in 2005.

For the growing population of older adults in the suburbs of Boston, whether living independently or not, the Golden Tones Chorus provides a fun way to remain active, healthy, and in good spirits. In addition, the performers provide strong role models of healthy aging; their active participation in performances enhances the health and wellbeing of everyone involved. At the same time, the members create a community together, supporting one another as they keep learning, and encouraging each other to stay active, healthy, and creative.

Program History

The chorus was launched in 1988 by professional singer Maddie Sifantus as a sing-along activity offered at the Wayland Senior Center. Over time, it evolved into a vibrant performing chorus of men and women from all over the Metro West Boston area. Rev. Sifantus retired from her position as the Founding Director in 2008 and passed the torch on to Ms. Marion, the current Director.

Program Assessments and Evaluations

This program is evaluated on an ongoing basis through the use of interviews, individual assessments, attendance numbers, retention numbers, and rate of return.

Advice for Other Organizations Conducting Similar Programs

Fundraising to sustain a musical outreach program like this is a continual, but possible, challenge. Strive to diversify funding streams.

Kinds of creative engagement/ program focus Presenting a Performance, Participate in a Class, Participate in a Workshop, Participate in an Ensemble
Arts Discipline: Music
Interdisciplinary Connections: Civic Engagement, Education, Health / Medicine, Volunteerism
Target Audience: Active Adults, Caregivers - Family, Caregivers - Professional, Frail Older Adults, Intergenerational, People with Alzheimer's Disease / Dementia
Adaptive Program Design Hearing Disabilities, Visual Disabilities, Mobility Disabilities, Cognitive Disabilities, Intellectual Disabilities
Program Setting: Aging Organization (e.g. Senior Center)
Program Service Area: Suburban
Type of Practice: Field Tested Best Practice