PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Older people living in senior centers are among the most affected in this pandemic, but some local high school performers are lifting their spirits with a program called “Songs for Seniors.”

When Baldwin High School singers were left without an audience, they still wanted to perform. So when given the chance to record songs at home for a local senior center, many were happy to use their voice for good.

Baldwin High School senior Julia Lombardi sang the pop song, “Let it Go,” for the seniors.

“During this quarantine, it’s difficult to feel like you’re making a difference when you’re stuck inside and can’t really do much,” she said, “but this was a way for me to get involved.”

Julia is among several others in the Highlander Chorus who record new songs every week. The employees at Paramount Senior Living in Baldwin play them for the residents.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Kelly Boyle, director of community development and outreach for Aetna Medicare, remembered performing at a senior home when she was a kid and came up with the idea.

“I really worried about [the seniors] being lonely and afraid and their overall emotional well-being, so I wanted to develop a distraction to keep them engaged and optimistic,” she said.

For one of her videos, Baldwin freshman Morgan Smeal sang a song she wrote during the pandemic and played ukulele while her dad played a hand drum. She says it feels good to make a difference.

“I feel so bad that all the senior citizens are all stuck in their homes and can’t visit anybody or have anybody visit them, so I was very excited to share some positivity with them,” Smeal said.

“Songs for Seniors” has already sparked interest in other nursing homes and school districts who are inquiring about starting a similar program.

If you’d like to learn more about how to do that, email Kelly Boyle at boylek@aetna.com

And you can see many more things kids are doing to help during this pandemic at kidsburgh.org.

Kristine Sorensen