Nadine Livingston (seated) and the Golden Oldies Choir performing at Talarico Place in April. Photo: Submitted

Nadine Livingston (seated) and the Golden Oldies Choir performing at Talarico Place in April. Photo: Submitted

Castlegar’s Golden Oldies’ leader will be missed

Choir director Nadine Livingston brought fun and discipline to the choir

Submitted by Rosemary Manarin

The Golden Oldies talented leader, Nadine Livingston, must move away and leave her choir behind.

While many may not know her, she is an unsung hero to those who do.

Livingston was born and grew up on a prairie farm in southern Alberta, a home without electricity or running water. Her rural school was miles away. Life was hard for her parents and three brothers, but they were happy. One special happy time was when her father was able to obtain a piano for the family. There was no TV so music was the entertainment.

Livingston learned to play largely on her own but showed a talent not many possessed. By the time she was a teen she was playing at dances and loving it. She prepared for university, and went on to become a teacher. She married and raised a family, living an event-filled and happy life until decades later when her marriage broke up and she moved to Robson.There, she helped her daughter with her children and soon became a part of life in the Castlegar area community.

Livingston soon took over a small choir of seniors left without a leader and the Golden Oldies choir grew. She worked at building up the choir and with help from the members began weekly practices and developing a repertoire of songs that seniors remembered from times past and could sing without the aid of written music.

Performances were soon organized regularly so that the choir became a familiar fixture at Castlegar’s local care homes — Talarico Place, Castleview and Castlewood.

The members of the choir will sorely miss their leader because their time singing together was a true joy, not just because of their love of singing and the enthusiasm of their leader but also because they saw the difference they made for the folks who were watching and listening. Singing songs from long ago, hence the Golden Oldies’ name, often brings a new light to peoples’ faces and many smiles blossom.

As Livingston says, “Singing is good for you and chases away the blues.”

Livingston was known for balancing the discipline of learning with fun. Even at the age of 90 she was able to “pump up” her audience to enjoy themselves. She could play musical scores and carry on a conversation at the same time.

The members of the choir will see Livingston, a true community blessing, off to Alberta with love and grateful appreciation for her years of musical magic. She will be sorely missed.

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