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Distinct voice joins Linden Ponds

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May 24th, 2011

After his move to Linden Ponds last fall, Orville Rodgers intended to slow down. I wanted to rest a while, admits the gentle-mannered Rodgers, whose melodic voice has carried a lifetime of song and public speaking. In the meantime, I couldn t resist joining the singing group, because I ve sung my whole life.

Glee club! There s nothing like the Linden Ponds lifestyle. Why not join the party? Call 1-800-316-4072 today. Rodgers began singing in his native Barbados around the age of 5. Part of a special group of young singers, Rodgers was given solo acts early on and then sang for five years with the male choir at St. Michael s Cathedral in Barbados, West Indies. That s where I learned the rudiments of choral singing, he says.

A varied, far-flung career

Rodgers left Barbados in 1944 to join the British Royal Air Force. While in England, he studied at Manchester Technical Institute before briefly returning to Barbados. Rodgers emigrated from Barbados to the U.S. in December 1948, arriving in New York during a severe snowstorm. He settled with an uncle in Worcester, Mass., and worked at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology in Shrewsbury as a laboratory technician in the investigation of steroids. In 1953 Rodgers went to Edinburgh, Scotland, to attend the Edinburgh School of Podiatry. He returned to the U.S., where he worked in the arthritis section studying amyloidosis, a connective tissue disease, at Massachusetts General Hospital. He then worked in the arthritis section of Boston University as a research chemist/electron microscopist, processing and examining biopsies in the electron microscope.

Lifelong passion

Throughout Rodgers demanding professional career, one passion remained. My other story is I love to sing, he says. While living and working in Worcester, Rodgers was a member of the Worcester Festival Choral Society. As part of its choir of about 300 singers, Rodgers trained with Sarah Caldwell, a well-known opera conductor and impresario, and sang classical music alongside the Philadelphia Orchestra. While at Boston University, Rodgers led a student choir for a few years and remains a fixture in his Attleboro, Mass., church, where he sang bass in both a quartet and the choir. Rodgers made the decision to move from his home of 40 years in Sharon, Mass., after his wife died last spring. While his house was becoming a burden, he had been receiving theErickson Tribune, published by Erickson Living, and reading about life at Linden Ponds. The decision was easy: From the reports in the paper, that was enough, he says. Rodgers had help from people in his church as he downsized, and he received guidance from Linden Ponds Personal Moving Consultant Lynne Ford on furniture arrangement in his new studio apartment home. Ford s recommended real estate professional from Caldwell Banker assisted in the selling of Rodgers house last November. Rodgers says he immediately felt compelled to join the Linden Ponds Singers, a group that typically performs two large-scale performances each year and occasional smaller events. Singing with the group made my day; I really enjoy it, Rodgers says. The feeling is mutual, says Nalora Steele, director of the Linden Ponds Singers. Orville Rodgers immediately became a valued member of our community through the gifts of music he has brought to it. We are so grateful to him. Rodgers also joins the casual hymn sing the first Sunday of each month in the community s Oakleaf Fireside Lounge. Rodgers spoken voice has been equally sought after over the years for sermons, weddings, and funeral services. He is also an avid reader and a member of the community s Veterans Association. Rodgers continues to rehearse weekly with the Linden Ponds Singers and hopes to be able to perform in this month s performance, A Small Part of the World, for which he is learning a song in Russian.

A Small Part of the World at Linden Ponds

This month the Linden Ponds Repertory Company will present Show Biz IV, a Small Part of the World, a performance of music and dance from around the world. Seventy dedicated performers who live at Linden Ponds will appear on stage, with costumes and scenery created by a similarly talented crew. Because Show Biz performances have sold out the past two years, the group will offer four shows. Show times/dates:
  • Wednesday, June 15, at 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 16, at 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, June 17, at 2:30 p.m.
  • Monday, June 20, at 2:30 p.m.
  • Tickets can be purchased in the Oakleaf or Derby Clubhouses starting at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 11, and for the following three evenings.

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