Young at Heart Chorus: Singers for the Ages

May 8, 2023

Photo: Julian Parker-Burns

The Young@Heart 40th Anniversary Show premieres Sunday, May 14 at 7 p.m. on THIRTEEN (see all dates)
Young@Heart: Strong in Song, a half-hour special profiling chorus members, premieres Thursday, May 25 at 10:30 p.m. (see all dates)

Meet the world’s oldest rockers: The Young@Heart Chorus!

The group celebrates their 40th anniversary live on stage in their hometown of Northampton, Massachusetts. Filmed on November 20, 2022, with an introduction by singer-songwriter David Byrne, the chorus sings highlights from their musical repertoire – including songs by Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Clash, Coldplay and Sonic Youth – and also pays tribute to members of the troupe who have passed away.

Photo: Julian Parker Burns.

What started out in 1982 at a Western Massachusetts elderly housing project to joyfully pass the time instead of passing before your time, The Young@Heart Chorus developed into a stereotype-defying, generation-crossing musical extravaganza. Some choral members have prior professional theater or music experience, others have performed extensively on the amateur level, and there are some who never stepped onto a stage before turning 80. Since inception, there have been 150 people with the group.

The troupe, whose members are in their seventies and older, has toured the world from the United States to New Zealand, from Canada to Japan, and has collaborated with youth choirs and incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people.

“People are surprised that Young@Heart can make music that’s not of their era and make it sound new without compromising on the energy needed to make the song rock,” said Bob Cilman, Young@Heart executive/artistic director, in an interview with “People all over the world have appreciated that. When they see Young@Heart they are seeing one of a kind.”

The Young@Heart Chorus continues to prove it’s “possible to grow old without growing boring.”

May 9 Online Screening and Discussion: Free Online Event

Join THIRTEEN on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at 7 p.m. for Young at Heart: Empowering Older Adults. 


Enjoy an excerpt from Young@Heart’s 40th Anniversary Show. Then explore strategies for combatting senior isolation with a panel discussion featuring:

Bob Cilman (Young@Heart Director)
Greg Olsen (Director, New York State Office for the Aging)
Shirley Stevens (Young@Heart Chorus Member)
Bei Wu, PhD, FGSA, FAAN (Hon.) (Dean’s Professor in Global Health and Vice Dean for Research, Rory Meyers College of Nursing and Co-Director, NYU Aging Incubator, New York University)

Moderated by Dana Roberson (Executive Producer, Special Projects, The WNET Group).

The event is presented as part of the statewide Aging Together in New York public media initiative, aimed to help seniors, family members and community supporters find resources to stay connected. See more about programming on THIRTEEN and WLIW21, the initiative and events on

Photo: Julian Parker Burns.

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