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Choir takes its place in the record books
A CHOIR with an average age of 91 has been hailed a resounding success after being named the oldest in the world.
Guinness World Records officials said the 13-member ensemble with a combined age of 1,180 years at St John’s House residential home, Kirk Hammerton, North Yorkshire, had secured a place in its annals after performing an hour-long concert.
The choir, whose members are aged from 79 to 100, was formed in November following the success of military wives’ choirs, which have been credited providing social and psychological benefits to participants.
Choir leader Ruth Strangeway said the members had selected the songs, including Que Sera, Moon River and Tulips From Amsterdam, for a show to perform in front of Guiness World Records adjudicators in April.
She said after successfully completing eight songs, the residents had been anxious to find out if their attempt would be confirmed as a record.
She said: “Since receiving the news there has been a terrific buzz here and we are having a party to celebrate this demonstration of what senior citizens can do.
“The choir has built their confidence and self-esteem, produced physical benefits for their hearts and lungs and given them a sense of purpose while bringing them together in the community.
“The songs bring back so many memories for people who often can’t remember things well.”
Syd Shorter, 93, said he had been amazed how his life had been transformed since joining the choir, which holds weekly rehearsals and has recorded an album and performed several shows in the area.
The former electrician and RAF leading aircraftsman, who is the only male member of the choir, said: “I’ve been jogged into this at the end of my life.
“I’d never even considered singing before now. I feel totally enhanced by it.”
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