Young at heart
12 July 2023
Singing at the opening of the 1994 Commonwealth Games, participating in the World Festival Choir, and rubbing shoulders with Pavarotti are amongst Pam Sefton’s most treasured life experiences.
“My dad was a pianist and a fantastic singer. One of my earliest memories was singing with dad at Sunday School. I was the youngest and smallest, so I was always up the front loud and proud swinging to the beat.
“Dad was a born entertainer and wasn’t afraid to push the boundaries when it came to music. I think that’s where I got it from.”
As a founding member of the eclectic Young@Heart Chorus, the talented Dannemora Gardens resident is equally comfortable singing hits by Lady Gaga, Pink and Smash Mouth as she is with music by Neil Diamond, Elton John and Blondie.
“I don’t think people expect to hear the latest chart-topping music from a group of over seventies! But it’s about challenging those stereotypes, and learning new songs keeps my mind active.”
Made up of around 30 retired seniors, the in-demand group are looking forward to celebrating their 10th anniversary this year.
“I remember picking up a flyer calling for auditions for the Young@Heart Chorus 10 years ago. I didn’t tell anyone I planned to go along in case I didn’t get selected. To my horror my face was plastered all over TV that night! Thankfully, I’d made the cut.”
Playing in elaborate theatres, stadiums, cathedrals and even in a women’s prison, Pam says she’s most at home at a local school.
“Seeing kids smile-ear-to-ear and sing along with us is the greatest feeling.”
When she’s not practicing for her next gig with Young@Heart, you’ll find the active 81-year-old singing with the Pakuranga Choral Society, of which she has been a member for more than 50 years, knitting outfits for premature babies at Middlemore Hospital and helping friends and family with their genealogy.
“In my life I’ve been fortunate enough to try my hand at a number of things, travel all over the world, and sing in fabulous choirs. But my most cherished memory is singing in the Pakuranga Choral Society with both my dad and my youngest daughter. That was pretty special.”