Music instructor Jacqueline Kohl believes there is nothing quite as fun as getting groups of people together to sing.
For years, Kohl, who owns and operates Winchester’s Cardinal Music Conservatory, has encouraged her students to share their music with the community, and not just through traditional recitals.
Cardinal Music Conservatory students often perform concerts at Rose Mary C. Brooks Place, a local assisted living community, and activities director June Sparks noticed how much the residents seemed to enjoy the music.
When Sparks approached Kohl about directing a choir of Brooks Place singers, the music teacher agreed, and even got her students on board.
“People have that within them. They just want to sing, they just want ot vocalize those words,” Kohl said.
The joint senior-student choir is known as the Wild Roses, and they recently performed for the first time in Winchester, a concert at Fountain Circle Health and Rehabilitation, focusing on the theme of sunshine.
“I¿try to give some interesting information about a well-known song. The Brooks Place choir sings it, then the audience sings along. Everyone loves it,” Kohl said.
The choir focuses on classic songs, music that most people are familiar with, like “Michael Row the Boat Ashore” and “You are My Sunshine.” Kohl also said the program has been educational for the students, who are singing music they have never performed before.
Each week, Kohl meets with the Brooks Place singers to rehearse. The week before a performance, the CMC students meet the seniors at Brooks Place to rehearse as a full choir.
“Every month to six weeks, we’re actually going and performing for various groups,” Kohl said.
The next performance will be at the Generations Center in July. The concert will have a patriotic theme, in honor of the Fourth of July.
Kohl’s Maltese puppy, Webster, has become part of the group, as well, joining the group on stage during “How Much is that Doggy in the Window?”
Kohl said she and the students are learning a lot from the seniors, who taught the group “The White Cliffs of Dover,”¿a World War II era hit.
The name, Wild Roses, is in honor of Brooks Place namesake Rose Mary C. Brooks.
Although all youth singers currently are Kohl’s students, she said the choir is open to other community members interested in participating.
Brooks Place singers are Irmgard Kindler, Betty Gabriel, Marie Korsgaard, Betty Hobbs, Ruth Snowden, Beulah Sharp, Ruby Babys and Irene Hatton. Student singers are Andrew Taylor, Nathan Taylor, Josiah Taylor, Sara Sleightholm, Amanda Sleightholm, Tirzah Schanding, Naomi Schanding, Casey Johnson and Victoria Johnson.