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Silvertones serenade residents

There are only two real requirements to join the choral group The Silvertones.

“That you’re over 65 and you sing,” said director Kaye Chestnut. “We’ve had some that can’t carry a tune, but they like to sing. We’re not professional, you know.”

What matters the most is enjoyment, because that’s what comes through to audiences when the group performs its selection of popular gospel songs and hymns.

“We’re a group of senior citizens who like to sing,” Kaye said. “It’s just a group, and people don’t care how good we are. They just like having us sing because we sing what they like to hear. And we love to sing, and that’s why we have a good time. That makes a difference, and it comes through.”

The group regularly visits retirement communities in the area around Clay Center, and also sings a Christmas show at the hospital, as well as any other place they’re asked to perform.

“We quit altogether during the pandemic,” Kaye said. “We sang a funeral in January 2020, and didn’t perform again until this year. The members were happy to get back together.”

The group has 18 singers, despite just losing the last of the original members who helped found The Silvertones in the late 1980s.

“It was great when Verl (Rundquist) turned 100 in October,” Kaye said. “He just passed in the last few months. Not many people can sing when they’re 100, but he had the most beautiful bass voice.”

Since they’ve returned to performing, the group has made regular appearances at Clay Center Presbyterian Manor, and they’ve been able to stay busy with shows - something the group is grateful to experience.

“We got back to performing, and they seemed happy to have us back,” Kaye said.

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