Senior Song Fest History
Research-based work for Senior Song Fest began in 1990 from coursework at the University of Oregon School of Music where Jo Maitland Geltner was studying with Randall Moore. Data was collected and written into an article published in Journal of Music Therapy (see footnote).

Based on data in the article, Jo and Randall began compiling popular songs over the years in hopes of assembling a songbook for seniors that would provide hours of enjoyable entertainment for all groups and generate excellent music-making experiences that build happy times through singing.

Research indicates that vocal ranges diminish with age. Songs in Senior Song Fest are transposed to lower keys to make them easier to sing for aging voices. In addition, mature singers require larger print for readability; hence we decided to make our music more accessible, so larger print is used throughout the songbook. Song tunes and lyrics are formatted so that no page turns are necessary.

The collection includes folk songs, popular romantic tunes, patriotic and spiritual hymns, courting songs, hit tunes from stage and film, and songs for dancing and marching. Lyrics vary from humorous to sentimental and light-hearted to introspective.

This online collection is produced in memory of Jo Maitland Geltner (1955-2008) who dedicated her life to serving senior citizens and led countless sessions of group singing with seniors. May her generous spirit live on through music-making.

Moore, R. S., Staum, M. J., & Brotons, M. (1994). Music preferences of the elderly:
Repertoire, vocal ranges, tempos and accompaniments for singing. In J. M Standley & C. A. Prickett (Eds.), Research in Music Therapy: A Tradition of Excellence (pp. 738-755). Silver Spring, MD: NAMT. (Reprinted from Journal of Music Therapy, 1992, 29[4], 236-252).

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