With an average age of 80, the adventurous old-timers in the "Young@Heart" chorus, based in Northampton, Mass, may not be in ideal physical shape—some use canes and wheelchairs, have heart problems, or tote oxygen tanks around—but as they warble their way through energetic renditions of rock “golden oldies” by Coldplay, Sonic Youth, Jimi Hendrix, and James Brown, with the help of director Bob Climan, they show that the true fire of youth comes from within.
Why we love it
You won’t be able to peel your eyes (or ears) from Walker’s “Young @ Heart,” a fond tribute to a one-of-a-kind elderly ensemble whose concerts at home and abroad, especially in Europe, have made them an in-demand booking engagement. Walker tracks the highs and lows of rehearsals (Allen Toussaint’s tricky “Yes We Can Can” nearly crushes group morale) and spends quality time getting to know several veteran choirists (most of whom prefer opera to rock music!), hearing their views on life and longevity and the inevitable health problems that eventually claim one especially beloved member. But if “Young@Heart” proves anything, it’s that old age and a zest for life harmonize as perfectly as these fun-loving, ready-for-anything vocalists.