Marlborough seniors celebrates Independence Day with video

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Andy Szlachtun

New Horizons Chorus releases video of ‘God Bless America’ 

Marlborough  — When faced with restrictions due to COVID-19, the New Horizons at Marlborough retirement community chorus got creative to ensure its melodious voices are heard.

Unable to conduct its traditional Fourth of July performance, the 25-member singing group created a video rendition of “God Bless America” and posted it on social media channels for the independent and assisted living community—and others—to enjoy.

Traditionally, the New Horizons chorus performs for the community four times each year, including July 4. With the advent of the coronavirus, the chorus had to suspend practices for its spring concert, historically attended by about 200 New Horizons community members. The average resident age at New Horizons is 94.

“We were so disappointed to be unable to perform our spring concert which would have featured songs from ‘My Fair Lady’ and ‘Hello Dolly,’” said Betsy Connolly, vice president and deputy director of New Horizons at Marlborough. “The choral group decided that ‘the show must go on’ for Independence Day, and, undeterred by social distancing requirements, created a video rendition instead.”

The “God Bless America” video opens with a welcome from New Horizons resident Sylvia Safferson and continues with a performance of the patriotic song, written by Irving Berlin in 1918. Six residents each performed a portion of the tune, which was then edited to be presented in its entirety.

The New Horizons chorus has enjoyed singing together twice a week for nearly three years.

“This Fourth of July, their music will lift our community’s spirits as it always has,” said Connolly. “This year will just be a little different.”

NHM chorus member Jenny Bagdis (r) with deputy director Betsy Connolly
NHM chorus member Takouhi McCarthy filmed by Erin Gowasky