When Bob Cilman and Judith Sharpe organized the Young@Heart (Y@H) in 1982, all of the members lived in an elderly housing project in Northampton, MA, called the Walter Salvo House.
The first group included elders who lived through both World Wars. Many popular concerts were staged together with other community groups in the following years and they played to packed houses and received standing ovations.
1996. The first concerts starring just the Young@Heart began to tour in Europe. The response was phenomenal and the Chorus went on to 12 more tours of Europe, Australia and Canada.
2006. The Walker / George documentary “Young @ Heart”, originally broadcast on Channel 4 television in the UK, won many awards and was released all over the world.
Sponsored by Summerset, Y@H toured to New Zealand and Bob Cilman held auditions for senior singers.
He employed five New Zealanders (Nola Neas (76), Syd Dowling (75), Bill Yates (80), David Johnston(80) and Eileen Evans (82)). Christina Bevan was employed to teach them over 40 songs in the repertoire. The tour was a sell-out success.
On leaving New Zealand, Bob challenged the "New Zealand 5" to start their own group.
On March 14th 2011, the Foundation meeting of the NZ Young@Heart Chorus met with a view to forming an incorporated society and beginning the Chorus. Founder members were: Christina Bevan (President and Musical Director) and the "NZ5" - Syd Dowling, Eileen Evans, David Johnston, Nola Neas (Secretary) and Bill Yates. They were joined by Juanita Angell and Fraser Faulknor (Treasurer) and at the end of the year, Summerset came on board as our principal sponsors. In November, auditions were held at St Aidan's church hall, about 15 people attended.
5th March: Auditions were held at Summerset village, more talented people attended and rehearsals began at St Aidan's Church Hall in Remuera.
26th March: At a Special General Meeting, the following Committee was elected: President: Syd Dowling, Secretary: no nominations, Treasurer Fraser Faulknor and Committee: David Johnston, Bill Yates, Marilyn Clifford. Musical Director: Christina Bevan.Twenty two other members attended.
30th April: Elaine Bristol joined the Committee and Sheila Summers became Secretary. Plans began for the debut concerts in September 2012. NZY@H became a Registered Charity.
15/16th September: “Yes we can can” - two debut concerts took place at the Picton Centre, Howick and the Whangaparaoa College theatre. The performances were extremely well received and sold out (750 seats).
7th November: Our first Annual General Meeting was held at the Somervell Church . The following committee was elected: Syd Dowling (President), Fraser Faulknor (Treasurer), Sheila Summers (Secretary), David Johnston, Deanna Briant, Cheryl Cameron, Ann Gillespie, Bill Yates and Christina Bevan (Musical Director).
1st March: The new website was launched, the content was prepared by Sheila Summers
13/14th April: "Forever Young" at the Centennial Theatre, Epsom.
6th May: Auditions were held and we took on board another six talented singers
13th Sept: Performance at Summerset Village, Manukau with our new equipment and backing tracks.
24th Sept: Performance at Scot's College in Wellington
25th Sept: Guest Artist Performance for the RVA Choir Festival. St Pauls Cathedral Wellington.
14th October: Morning Melodies at the Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna, Auckland
26th November: Howick RSL Seniors Group, 20th Birthday Party
18th December: Grace Joel/Edmund Hillary Retirement Villages Christmas Concert
3rd February: We begin the year with 40 Singing members of the Chorus
2nd March: "Childrens Day" concert at the Summerset Warkworth Village
3rd March: Schools concert at Howick Primary School
17th March: The Annual General Meeting was held at St Aidan's. The new Committee comprises SydDowling (President) Peter Bass (Treasurer) Sheila Summers (Secretary) Christina Bevan (Musical Director) Fraser Faulknor, Deanna Briant, David Johnston, Juanita Angell, Ann Turner and Sue Marsh. The President reported on the successes and growth of the previous year and outlined plans for the future.
30th March: A full show took place at the Coromandel RSA hall. it was arranged by the village Choral Society We had another full house and enjoyed the bus trip and provided lunch
13th September: A well received show at SKYCITY where we welcomed the Remuera Intermediate Choir and award winning Cheer Team. It was a full house (700) and we received a standing ovation
19th October: Performance for the women at the Manukau Correctional Facility in Wiri. We were part of their 'Rocktoberfest' weekend. Their Island dance group and choir performed for us after our show.
3rd November: The Gerontology Nurses Conference at Waipuna Lodge was the setting for another successful show. 150 in the audience and standing ovations completed a happy evening.
28th November: We performed in the Howick Midnight Madness event, singing carols in the street for this crowded pre-Christmas event.
11th December: We appeared at the Howick Club to entertain the Botany-Dannemora Club after their Christmas Luncheon.
15th December: We welcomed the TV3 Crew led by Mike Wesley-Smith to St Aiden's to record a Paul Lennon song for the final Paul Henry Show.
At our Annual General Meeting the following Committee was elected Chris Bevan (President) Pam de Frere (Secretary) Senga Hutson (Treasurer) D.Briant, F.Faulknor, D.Johnston, P.Sefton, S.Summers (EventsManager)20th june:
'Angels' Glen Eden Playhouse (cancelled - power outage)30th August:
'Winters End" fundraiser at the Hawkins Theatre,Papakura1st September:
We welcomed Votre Arme film company to shoot a video about 'The Events"12th September:
'Angels' at Glen Eden Playhouse14 September:
Age Care Conference at Sky City20th September: >'The Events' at Q Theatre 7th November:
Family Fun Day - United We Stand, Waka of Hope on Maori TV13th December:
Dolphin Theatre Annual Awards Night
8th March: We performed for the Selwyn Friendship Club at St Johns Church Hall, Royal Oak
13th March: Our second visit to the Womens Correctional Facility at Wiri took place
14th March: At our Annual General Meeting the following Committee was elected: Chris Bevan, President. Pam de Frere Secretary, Senga Hutson Treasurer D.Brian, F. Faulknor, D.Johnston, P.Sefton, S.Gaze, S.Summers (Events Manager) We changed our rehearsal venue to Orakei Primary School Hall
27th March: Our prison visit was documented with a delightful story on TV3 Newshub programme
1st April: A Sunday afternoon concert at Crestwood Retirement Village was well received
5th May: We went on the Road to Aparangi Village in Te Kauwhata to give a full concert and enjoyed afternoon tea with the residents
2nd August: Performance for the Onehunga Senior Citizens proved popular, it was a full house of residents from the area.
28th August: We were honoured to open the Symposium for Alzheimers (now re-named Dementia) at the Waipuna Lodge Theatre
7th November: Anuual visit to Howick Primary School - well received with the children singing and clapping along
25th November: We gave a Christmas concert for The Manurewa Probus Club, at the Manurewa Cosmopolitan Club
28th November: Orakei Primary School were delighted with our concert, they packed the hall and sang with us.
Annual General Meeting
We elected the following Committee. President - Stuart Gaze, Treasurer - Senga Hutson, Minutes Secretary - Ann Turner, Committee Members, Deanna Briant, Beryl Coe, Fraser Faulknor, Pam Sefton and Sheila Summers. Fraser was thanked for his service as President and David Johnston, founder member, was thanked for his time on the Committee.
Thanks were given to Summerset for their five years as our principal Sponsor, without their valuable help the Chorus would not have been possible. We welcomed Arvida our new sponsor who will be presenting our shows.
1st April ‘Walking on Sunshine’ The first performance took place at the Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre and was presented by Arvida. We acknowledge the generosity of the Mt Wellington Trust, ‘Giving is Good’ A second performance of the show on the 2nd April was well received by the Trust guests.
7th April Four shows in rapid succession were given to Arvida villages in Christchurch to great appreciation.
8th April ‘Walking on Sunshine’ public show was well attended and received a standing ovation at The Piano, a classy venue in the Christchurch City. Chorus members were thankful for the splendid accommodation provided by Arvida.