Retired electrical engineer and bass singer Bob Krause finds joy in the reactions of senior citizens during his choir performances.
“The choir really gets a tremendous benefit of seeing what happens with the audience, and we see that they love it and really appreciate it,” Krause said. “Mainly, what we try to do is bring back some of the songs that the seniors are familiar with, we go in there, and it’s amazing. We’re seniors serving seniors.”
He is the president and one of 15 members in The Gold Tone Senior Citizen Show Choir, a nonprofit performance group in Fort Worth. The choir formed in 1997 as a city-funded program supported by the Senior Citizens Services of Tarrant County. When the program lost its funding from the city, it transformed into a nonprofit.
Krause has been with the choir for nearly six years, he said. He worked as an electrical engineer with various companies before working for the United States Agency for International Development and State Department.
His musical career outdates his profession, however.
When he was 10, Krause’s grandfather gifted him a brand new mahogany wood guitar. It kick- started his love for music.
“I used to open the case, pick it up and hold it on my lap, and I would just sniff it,” Krause said. “The smell of the wood was so fantastic that I would just sit there and smell the wood before I even started playing it.”
He then performed in junior high choirs, an a capella choir, and a singing group at his job. After retiring, he joined The Gold Tone Senior Citizen Show Choir at the urging of his wife.
“One day, there was an article in the paper about this Gold Tone choir looking for more members. My wife saw it and said, ‘Hey, you need to join this because you’re going around the house humming and singing and you’re driving me nuts, ’ ” he said.
The choir performs at senior citizen homes in hopes of showing people they “still have life in them.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the choir performed one free concert for senior care homes every quarter. The choir has not performed or had a place to rehearse since 2019.
The choir lost its place of rehearsal when the COVID-19 pandemic began and has yet to find a place to practice, Krause said. Senior citizen homes have had heavy restrictions on who can and can’t visit, so they “couldn’t do anything during the whole COVID-19 time.”
The choir members range from late 50s to 80s, putting them in a high-risk group. Even though all or most of them have been vaccinated against COVID-19, there is hesitancy in getting together and performing publicly.
Arts Fort Worth helped the choir with its grants program for multiple years, but the organization did not submit an application for the current fiscal year ending in September 2022, said Wesley Gentle, the director of advancement at Arts Fort Worth.
Gold Tone Senior Citizen Choir plans to begin rehearsing and performing in 2022 – if restrictions are lifted and cases level out, Krause said.
Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.
Meet the Gold Tones:
- Kathy Moriarty is the choir director. She was born in East Texas and received her bachelor’s degree in music education from Baylor University.
- Debra Adams is a choir member. She was born in Upstate New York and moved from New York to Japan and finally Mineral Wells. She and her five siblings were born into a “musical family.”
- Jean Carmichael is a choir member. She grew up just outside of New York City and she studied piano, participated in the glee club and choir in both high school and college. She graduated from Sweet Briar College and later received her master of science degree from Springfield College.
- Chris Castoro is a choir member. Castoro discovered he liked to sing pretty late in life, he said. He and his wife have traveled the majority of Europe, Asia and Australia; Castoro is a proud member of Rotary International and serves on many nonprofit boards.
- Linda Hines is a choir member. Hines worked as a graphic artist for Radio Shack and Harcourt Brace Textbook Publishers. In 1991, she went to the Art Institute of Dallas to learn computer skills. She has led school and church choirs and taught performance skills.
- Bob Krause is a choir member. Krause was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and got his electrical engineering degree from Brigham Young University and his master’s in business from Arizona State University. He worked for a number of electrical companies and developed contracts for the United States Agency for International Development and the State Department in foreign countries.
- Dorothy M. Sneed Lampkin is a choir member. Lampkin has been an interpreter for the deaf for 40 years. She received her bachelor’s in education from Texas Christian University and taught in Fort Worth for 31 years.
- A. B. Lampkin is a choir member. Lampkin was born in Gonzales, Texas, and grew up in Anson, Texas. He graduated from Grambling State University and attended Charter Life Underwriters Classes at Texas Christian University. He has worked as the managing editor for the Dallas Express Newspaper, tailored at several men’s clothing stores and retired as team leader for the Fort Worth ISD Transportation Department.
- Pam McKenzie is a choir member. McKenzie moved to Fort Worth in 2016 and joined the choir in April 2016. Pam has a bachelor degree in music from Aquinas College, and has been involved with Catholic church music for 35 years. She serves at the St. Joseph Church in Cleburne as the music director.
- Carole Miller is a choir member. She was born in Langley Field, Virginia, and then moved to West Texas. Carole graduated from Texas Tech University and taught first and second graders for 38 years. She retired 14 years ago to move back to the family home to help her sister care for their mother who had Alzheimers.
- Tom O’Connor is a choir member. O’Connor started with piano lessons at an early age and became involved with bands in high school. He first sang with the Army Men’s Chorale on TV in Washington, D.C. He also sang on nationwide TV on the Arlene Francis Show from New York.
- Lynette Parkhurst is a choir member. She is a born and raised Fort Worthian. She is a church music graduate of Texas Lutheran University and serves as the music director at St. John/San Juan Lutheran in South Austin. It is her 18th year serving.
- Stephen Rookard is a choir member. He received his bachelor of arts in Radio-TV and put his outstanding voice to use in college as an announcer and DJ at the campus of the University of Texas at El Paso. His wife urged him to join the choir four months after she did.
- Jerry Roy is a choir member. Roy was born into a family of musicians. His dad and his dad’s seven siblings all played instruments. He has continued to lead churches in Texas, Georgia and Canada off and on over 30 years.
- Joyce Whitley is a choir member. Whitley was born in Jal, New Mexico and moved to Midland before first grade. She graduated from Texas Tech University with a secondary education degree with emphasis on English. Whitley taught English to eighth-graders for 33 years.
- David Wright is a choir member. Wright and his wife came to Fort Worth from Los Angeles in 1978. In high school, he was in the choir and had a Madrigal Membership. In 1997, he joined the Barbershop Harmony Society singing lead, tenor, or bass in competitive Chorus and Quartet events. He joined the GoldTone choir in 2017.