Seniors entertain at the State Capitol

Photo courtesy of Henry Ford Village
The Henry Ford Village resident choir performs in the Capitol Building in Lansing May 20.

DEARBORN — The hustle and bustle in the State Capitol Building quieted briefly May 20, as legislators in Lansing enjoyed the sweet harmonies of Henry Ford Village’s resident choir.

The senior citizen group’s voices rose from the historic building’s rotunda to the stained-glass dome, reverberating throughout the Capitol during the performance.

LeadingAge Michigan Vice President Stephanie Shooks Winslow heard the choir perform during the Henry Ford Village 20th Anniversary celebration last fall.

“It was at that moment we decided they needed to perform in our state’s Capitol for all to hear,” Winslow said.

“I didn’t think it was going to happen, but it did,” said Henry Ford Village resident and choir director Armond Sells.

A short time after the anniversary performance, Sells read the choir an invitation from LeadingAge Michigan — the local chapter of a national not-for-profit association dedicated to expanding the world of possibilities for aging — to sing in Lansing.

From the patriotic “God Bless America” to the inspirational “You Raise Me Up”, the group’s four-part harmonies helped welcome the long-awaited spring weather.

“We all thought it went very, very well, and I’m rather picky,” said Clara Rogers, village resident and choir piano accompanist.

Rogers, who has accompanied and directed choirs for more than 40 years, is going on her second year with the village’s choir and thought this was one of their best performances that she’s been a part of.

“The building was incredible, and on the grounds they were planting all the spring flowers, which made it a very special day,” she said.

In their nearly eight years rehearsing weekly and performing under Sell’s guidance, the choir has grown to double its original size.

“I found a need and we now have 28 people,” said Sells, who was a music teacher at Adams Junior High and Bryant Middle schools in Dearborn.