They range in age from 50 to 93, and practice twice a week. Some are former professional singers — one being a former musical director of The Carpenters.
The Seal Beach Leisure World Chorale — numbering around 50 — recently performed songs from “The Fabulous Fifties” to a crowd that remembers that era like yesterday.
Wearing poodle skirts and (in the case of guitarist Steve Lawrence) dark Elvis garb, the singers entertained 200 at Clubhouse 4 at the gated retirement community.
Anita Ragole, president of the chorale, saluted Rhonda Sandberg, the group’s director, after the Sept. 20 afternoon performance.
“Some of the members live outside of Leisure World,” said longtime member Geri Stone, in her mid-80s, “but are allowed to participate in the chorales because we are low on certain vocal types.”
Chorale member David Chang, a CPA, was a professional with a choral group and an excellent piano player, Stone noted.
Four concerts are held each year for the chorale and an offshoot in October called the Good Time Singers, devoted to sacred music.
The Chorale’s goal, said its website, “is to make music from the heart that reaches the hearts of its audiences, performing all styles of music from every genre. The Chorale aims to entertain and to be entertaining while still maintaining the highest quality of excellence possible.”
The next concert is Dec. 6. The working theme is “Christmas Cheer,” but Stone plans to sing a Hanukkah song, “Sabbath Prayer,” as her solo.
Sandberg’s husband died two years ago, Stone said, “and he [had] asked me to repeat that song each year. The audience loves it and I get many comments about it.”
Sandberg, who plays the piano as accompanist, is a professional director, composer, college professor and songwriter who was a backup singer in Las Vegas.
Without her, our group would not be as large, Stone says.
“She rewrites songs in four-part harmony depending upon the ability of the singers,” Stone said. “We are lucky to have her.”