NORTHBOROUGH – Gearing up for their first public performance, the Rockin’ the Boroughs Senior Show Choir was busy learning the choreography and getting used to singing with a live band.
“It’s coming together well, especially considering we only formed the group in April, and then just returned to practice in September after taking the summer off,” admitted Manoj Padki, the group’s choral director.
Padki teaches ukulele and a cappella at the Northborough Senior Center, but after attending a performance by Young@Heart at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton MA, Padki decided to add a senior show choir to the mix in Northborough.
“When we were brainstorming the name, we thought it would be cool to have a reference to Northborough and the surrounding boroughs. We did not want to be limited to Northborough, and we also wanted to grow it into a regional brand, and we came up with Rockin’ the Boroughs,” he explained.
Roughly 20 senior citizens make up the chorus, but Padki laments that there are only four male members.
“We need more males, and frankly I would love to have a total of 50 members to get that full, rich sound,” he said.
Recruiting thus far has been by word of mouth, but with the performance coming up, the group hopes that more local singers will be inspired to join.
Padki uses a karaoke program, then adjusts the speed and pitch to meet the needs of the chorus. They have been trying out different types of music, discussing pros and cons, and the repertoire has evolved, with a buy-in from everyone.
“We are gaining traction and have added the band and the performance aspect as well,” Padki said. “One of our members was attending a concert in Newton where a glee club performed accompanied by this band, Firefly. She sent me some clips of the performance, and I was impressed with their sound so I decided to approach them and here they are.”
Padki confesses that his home base is really in the barbershop style, but is enjoying arranging the harmonies for this group which uses more solos with the rest of the chorus singing background.
Rockin’ the Boroughs will be performing on Nov. 14 at 5 p.m. at the Northborough Senior Center at 119 Bearfoot Rd. The public is not only welcome but encouraged to come enjoy an hour or so of fun music. Admission is free.
Padki also directs Berlin’s ReHarmonix who will be performing on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024, at the 1870 Town Hall in Berlin. The show will be open to the public.