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Golden K’s Golden Throats entertain while having fun

GOLDEN K MEMBERS join in song, some wearing the new gold polo shirts used by the Golden Throats during performances at area nursing homes. At the piano is the group’s accompanist, Alyce Derwinski, and directing is Margaret Trudell. From left, in the front row are Orice Walters, Sharon Scholke, Phyllis Galeazzi and Maxine Vacarello. In the second row are Jon Corson, Al Galeazzi, Doug Machus and Darryl Miller. Present but not in the photo were Mary Jane Nelson, Ron Jouppi, Joan Jouppi and Don Pedo. (Theresa Proudfit/Daily News photo)

The present-day Golden K singers known as The Golden Throats are a group of Dickinson County area Golden K members who sing a variety of songs that are mostly Golden Oldies.

This group of mostly retired people who like to sing join their voices in song every Wednesday at an area nursing home, performing usually for an hour. The joy of doing this each week is also seeing the nursing home residents smile and join in singing along.

Even those with Alzheimer’s seem to sing along or move their lips or their feet to these Golden Oldies. One might call it musical therapy.

There are no auditions to be a part of this musical group and new singers are always welcome.

In the earlier years of Golden K, the group named Golden Throats was made up of many retired teachers, doctors, professional people and well-known area musicians. A newsletter of that time shows they then sang monthly at nursing homes and special community events.

Some of the piano accompanists were Ellen Wallenfang and Nettie Miller. There even was a Golden K Band in the early years.

Presently dedicated to keeping Golden K members singing is piano accompanist Alyce Derwinski. She can be found keeping those ivory keys moving almost every Monday morning at Golden K and at 2 p.m. every Wednesday at a nursing home or other event.

In the past two decades, the Golden Throats have had piano accompanists such as the late Scott Furlow. Filling in when needed is Sue LeDuc or Lois Outcelt and Pauline Werner.

Some decades ago, the Golden Throats wore navy blue suit jackets, white shirts and red ties when performing. As all things change over the years, the Golden Throat dress now is more casual.

It is this writer’s understanding that the first musical director for Golden K was retired Iron Mountain High School history teacher “Tape” Egizzi. Some other past musical directors were Wally Swanson, Bud Prenevost, Ruth Pollard, Bob Langsford and for the past several years Margaret Trudell. Assisting as directors when needed or announcing the songs to sing may be Lois Outcelt, Don Pedo, Al Calcari or Jim Verrette.

Recently, thanks to a mini-grant from the Dickinson County Community Foundation, the Golden K club and the Golden Throats were given a $250 grant to help purchase gold polo shirts with Golden K printed in blue on the lapel.

The shirts may not help with the singing, but it’s been said the group looks pretty good in the snazzy gold shirts. Now members only need to remember to wear them on those days of singing and volunteering.

Plans are underway to have a special Day of Celebration on the morning of Monday, Sept. 16, honoring those who were a part of Golden K’s beginnings four decades ago.

After a week off for the Labor Day holiday, the next Golden K meeting will be 9:30 a.m. Monday at the regular site, the Presbyterian Church on Hamilton Avenue in Kingsford. Golden K meets every Monday morning except on holidays or if schools cancel classes due to bad weather.

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