Singing Men of Messiah Village release first recording

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (August 29, 2008)—Messiah Village (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) is pleased to announce that after more than 30 years of singing and traveling to area churches, the Messiah Village Singing Men have made a permanent mark in the music world. This summer, the 35-voice men’s chorus recorded their first professional compact disc titled The Singing Men: Songs for the Soul. On Saturday, September 6, the Messiah Village Singing Men will debut their new CD and perform at 11:30 a.m. during Messiah Village’s Fall Festival.

The Singing Men represent a diverse group of retired educators, scientists, medical and business professionals, and Christian service workers who share a passion for music. Many of the singers live at Messiah Village, but some are community volunteers who enjoy music and love the group’s focus on ministry. Averaging 76 years of age, the group proves that growing older doesn’t mean slowing down. The group’s eldest member, Dr. Kenneth B. Hoover, is 96 years old. He notes, “During the recording process, the men were serious, but the project wasn’t strenuous. The engineer was friendly, and kept smiling, even if we made mistakes and had to start over. It was a privilege to record our message in songs that will hopefully be enjoyed by many people.”

The 16-track CD, produced by Johnny Rife from PA Studio 33 in Harrisburg, Pa., features group arrangements of old-time hymns and gospel songs, several men’s quartet selections, and two piano solos arranged by the group’s accompanist, Dr. M. Lucille Wingert, of Mechanicsburg.

Since 1989, the Singing Men have been under the direction of Mechanicsburg resident and accomplished vocalist, Mr. L. Nelson Wingert. A volunteer, Wingert donates countless hours to choosing music and directing the group in weekly practices and then traveling to performances at churches, retirement communities, and other venues in the mid-state. He notes, “This whole project was a wonderful experience, but the real joy is just beginning as I get the reactions from the few people that have heard the recording.”

All proceeds from their performances are donated to the Messiah Village Endowment Fund for Benevolent Care. This fund helps support residents who need financial assistance. For more information on obtaining a copy of The Singing Men: Songs for the Soul, call 717-591-7201 or email gift@messiahvillage.org.

Messiah Village is a non-profit Continuing Care Retirement Community located on a beautiful 80-acre campus in Mechanicsburg, Pa. They offer a spectrum of services and accommodations for older adults and their families, including maintenance-free residential living cottages and apartments, assisted living, nursing care, memory support, and community services.

» Read Hubert L. Stern’s reflections on what happens “When old men sing.”
» Read Hubert's second essay on "Why old men sing"