Bringing the joy of live music to seniors and veterans

 The Peninsula Clef Hangers

We are funded in part

by a grant from

We have seen and experienced the therapeutic effect of music on seniors -- an effect confirmed by recent research.  It is not unusual to see members of the audience singing along and mouthing the words to songs, even at healthcare facilities and daycare centers for people with memory difficulties.  The smiles on their faces and the tapping of their toes are evidence of the happiness and enjoyment that we have been able to bring.

The musical arrangements are chosen with an ear for suitability and variety for the listening enjoyment of our senior and veteran audiences.

After each performance, we go out among our audience to shake hands, engage in conversation, and offer a greeting, a smile, and a pat on the arm -- often extending human touch and compassion to those who are unable to even move or lift their hands.  In doing this, we endeavor to brighten people’s moods, boost their spirits, and start a chain reaction that will generate a positive environment within the places to which we bring our music.

This is why -- we sing!  This is why,  We sing!  This is why we sing!
                              (Bridge)
                           Music builds a bridge, it can tear down a wall.
                           Music is a language that can speak to one and all!
                 (Chorus)
              This is why we sing, why we lift our voice, why we stand as one in harmony.
              This is why we sing, why we lift our voice.  Take my hand and sing with me.
       Soothe a soul, mend a heart,
       Bring together lives that have been torn apart.
       Share the joy, find a friend.
       It's a never-ending gift that circles back again.
                (Chorus)
              This is why we sing, why we lift our voice, why we stand as one in harmony.
              This is why we sing, why we lift our voice.  Take my hand and sing with me.
       A sound of hope, a sound of peace,
       A sound that speaks what we believe.
       A sound of love, a sound so strong.
       It's amazing what is given when we share a song.
                 (Chorus)
              This is why we sing, why we lift our voice, why we stand as one in harmony.
              This is why we sing, why we lift our voice.  Take my hand and sing with me.
Here are the lyrics:
The words express why we sing, why we do what we do -- it is not for money, it is not for fame.  Rather, it is because of the power of music to break down walls, soothe souls, touch and mend hearts, bring hope, peace, joy, love, and so much more!
 As we rehearsed and then performed the song in our concerts, we could not help but fall in love with it.  One of the ladies suggested that we adopt it as our signature piece.  What a fabulous, brilliant idea! 
When I brought it to Joan's attention, her reaction was, "Well, why don't we do it THIS year?" 

THIS year?

She was right.  It was the perfect finale piece to follow the Gershwin medley!
_____________________________________________________
 
...or so I thought.
One day, I came across "Why We Sing", a wonderful, inspiring song by Greg Gilpin.  I loved it from the first time I heard it -- it would be the perfect song for our next Spring program.
_____________________________________________________
 
I am always on the lookout for songs that we can sing.  Researching and ordering music is one of my Clef Hanger "hats". 

The problem was with our "Finale" section.  Comprised of a folk song and a Gershwin medley, it just somehow lacked punch.  But well...it was what we had...it was what was chosen.

We had two peppy songs in our "Opener" section, three rousing songs in our "Sacred" section, followed by a song made famous by Perry Como, a song adapted by Louis Lavater from "Tales from the Vienna Woods" (a waltz by Johann Strauss, Jr., the "Waltz King"), and a medley of Cole Porter love songs arranged by Karl Mansfield, a wonderful Broadway musician whose mother, Ellie, is an alto in our group.  Variety was certainly not the problem.

Something was still missing...

Yet somehow, it just did not seem right. 

We had started with 71 candidates on our original list, which we narrowed down to 24, but now we had we had our final list -- 10 songs, two of them medleys:  Openers, Sacred, Folk/Friendship, Love Songs, Show Tunes, and a Finale -- 10 songs chosen from 24 by the Music Selection Committee

We finally had our Spring 2014 program.

Each of our two annual programs contains 12 - 14 songs, including spirituals, inspirational and sacred music, folk and love songs, patriotic selections, holiday favorites, "Oldies-But-Goodies", tunes from Broadway musicals, toe tappers, and music of the world.  Some songs may be visually enhanced by a costumed skit or a dance. 

The incredible opportunity to bring joy and delight to the hearts of our senior and veteran audience has great rewards and is a testament to the power of music to touch souls.

Our concert programs -- the first presented during the Winter and the second during the Spring -- provide a welcome diversion from normal routines and bring the stimulation and energy of a live performance to a mostly homebound audience for whom concert attendance would not otherwise be possible. 

We bring the joy of live music at no cost to seniors in local retirement homes, daycare centers, and healthcare and veterans facilities in the mid-Peninsula area. Concerts are also given to other non-profit or community organizations with the approval of our members. 

Although we rehearse in Menlo Park, our singers hail from Peninsula communities stretching from Belmont to San Jose.

After a period of ten regular rehearsals and one sectional, we give 12 - 15 concerts at various local and mid-Peninsula retirement homes, senior and daycare centers, and healthcare and veteran facilities during each of our concert seasons -- the first in the Winter and the second in the Spring -- for a total of 25 - 30 concerts annually.  There is also one family-friendly public concert during each season. 

At the end of each program season, we come together and share a meal.  There are also dinners and get-togethers scheduled during the summer break, resulting in a great sense of love, friendship, camaraderie, and caring among our members. 

The Peninsula Clef Hangers is a non-profit, volunteer women's choral group of about 30 singers under the leadership of our director, Joan Sprague, and supported by our fabulous accompanist, Janine Gianino.  During the holiday season, we are joined by flautists, Lynne Ohara, Colleen Peterson, Diana Dole, and Karen Inaba. 

45 years after our founding, we are still singing!  The current group of about 30 volunteer singers continues to perform 25-30 concerts annually.

The Peninsula Clef Hangers women's choral group was founded in 1970, when a number of Northern California residents and Palo Alto Junior League members with a mutual love of music decided to come together to sing. 

In March 1978, we adopted the name, Clef Hangers, and are now incorporated as The Peninsula Clef Hangers, a 501(c)3 organization.

 The Peninsula Clef Hangers © 2017·  Privacy Policy

Why We Sing -- Why We Do What We do

by Susan M. Daijo 

What We Sing

Who We Are 

What We Do

HOW IT ALL STARTED....

ABOUT THE PENINSULA CLEF HANGERS