Students from the Christian Heritage School sing to a group of seniors during the Routt County Council on Aging’s weekly luncheon Monday afternoon.

Photo by John F. Russell

Students from the Christian Heritage School sing to a group of seniors during the Routt County Council on Aging’s weekly luncheon Monday afternoon.

Choir brings back memories

Christian Heritage School students perform for seniors

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For more information about programming provided by the Routt County Council on Aging, call 879-6033.

— Hearing “Contate Domino,” sung Monday afternoon by Christian Heritage School students during the Routt County Council on Aging’s weekly luncheon took Ann Miller back to her youth.

The Latin song reminded the 89-year-old Steamboat Springs resident of her choir days in the 1920s. But it was another song, “Nel Cor Più Non Mi Sento,” sung in Italian by third-grader Decker Dean, that reminded Miller of her father.

“When my father came over here he could neither read or write,” she said. “But he could sing every opera in Italian. I understood every note.”

Miller said hearing the 30 Christian Heritage students perform brought back “special memories.”

Each Monday, the Council on Aging — which serves Routt County senior citizens — provides a different program during luncheons held at the Steamboat Springs Community Center, said board member Barbara Bronner, who arranges the programming.

Bronner said the programs are designed to provide information to area seniors about health care, local issues that may affect them and updates about what’s going on with the city and county. But a couple of times each quarter, Bronner said she asks a local musical group to perform.

“I think music has a way of lifting everybody, especially the older adults who love seeing children and listening to music,” she said.

That was true for Steamboat residents Vi Look, 70, and Maxine Ohman, 87.

“It was great, awesome, fantastic — whatever you want to call it,” Ohman said. “It was really nice. And the little kids were so cute. I don’t know if ‘cute’ is the right word, but they were.”

Look said she appreciated the students taking some time after the performance to meet with them and the other seniors in attendance.

Christel Houston, Christian Heritage School’s music and drama teacher, said the three choir groups — Treble Makers (second- through fifth-graders), Seraphim (sixth- through eighth-graders) and Heartsong (high schoolers) — usually perform for different community groups about once a month.

Not only does it allow the students to practice in front of an audience before upcoming performances in March, but it allows them to share their music, Houston said.

“You can’t keep it all to yourself,” sixth-grader Lilli Turton said.

Ninth-grader Jane Robley said music brings joy to people.

The Latin song that reminded Ann Miller of her youth was the first live performance of the song for Heartsong, a group of five high school girls. They will sing that song at a music festival in March in Pasadena, Calif. Houston said the girls didn’t know they would be singing it to the seniors, but they did and pulled it off.

That, after all, is the point, said Houston’s daughter, Andrea, a seventh-grader.

“We don’t like singing songs we can’t perform,” Andrea said.

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