Seven’s Company perform at Angus Place the second Wednesday of every month. Pictured from left are

Ensemble performs at seniors’ facilities

Members of the musical group Seven’s Company entertain at seniors' facilities in Summerland

The musical group Three’s Company now call themselves Five’s Company or Seven’s Company — depending on how many of their members show up to play.

They get together, volunteering their time to sing and play at four local seniors’ facilities.

They entertain at a different one each Wednesday of every month.

Trevor Ling moved to Summerland twelve years ago and met up with pianist Joan Gilliard.

“We got chatting one time and she said she played at local seniors’ places. I told her I had done that in Ontario so she said I ought to join her,” explained Ling.

“We played together for a year and then we met Joan Hiele. She liked to sing and we asked her to join us, so then we had three. It was Three’s Company then.”

Ling himself had started playing the banjo at the age of 11. As an adult he played in the Toronto Banjo Band for 10 years.

“I always like the sound of the banjo,” he said. “They say you can’t play a sad song on the banjo, it has to be a happy song.”

As for Hiele, she said, “I love to sing. I’ve been singing since I was knee high to a grasshopper. I grew up in Newfoundland and music is one of the biggest things in our lives. When I was invited to join I felt like it was something I wanted to do.”

Eventually others joined the trio.

Jim Gillis plays guitar and sings.

Ian Macdougall was asked to fill in for one week and liked it so much he joined.

“I’ve been playing violin for 70 years. It’s always been a number one hobby for me,” he said. “For me I’ll play anywhere, anytime and almost anything.”

Al Kuppe also plays violin with the group and has been doing so for five years.

Ann Saunders said she was playing the ukulele on a tour bus when she met these people at a dance club.

“They said, why don’t you bring your ukulele and join our little band,” and so she did.

Earlier this year, Gilliard, who initiated the group, retired.

Since she left, Chris Barron has been playing the piano and is now the newest member of the band.

The group has some help with transporting their equipment and setting up each week.

“The spouses are the groupies and the porters,” said Saunders.

“They are the critics as well,” added Ling.

The band uses four different binders, with 80 songs in each.

They use a different binder every month as they make their rounds to each facility.

This way the residents hear different tunes all the time.

“We play for an hour,” Ling said. “We don’t get through the whole book so sometimes we start in the middle the next time around.”

Occasionally the band will try out a new song, but they never rehearse.

“We tell the audience, this is the first time we’ve played this together, so you’ll have to cut us a bit of slack,” explained Ling.

Speaking about the residents that they entertain each week, Saunders said,

“They’re all just so happy to hear any kind of music from their era that they can sing along to and enjoy.”

Hiele thinks that they, who are singing and playing, get more out of it than those who are listening.

“It makes you feel good. You know that you are making them feel joyful,” she said.

“Many of them can’t remember what they had for lunch but they can remember a song they learned at their mother’s lap.”

“They always say music is food for the soul,” said Saunders.

Marj Plitt of Angus Place confirms this statement.

“It’s great to have them here because it lifts our spirits,” she said.

Looking towards retirement Hiele mused,

“I’m hoping that down the road if I find myself in a facility like this, somebody will come and sing to me.”

For now Seven’s Company intends to continue to entertain. Speaking for the group Macdougall said,

“They enjoy it and we enjoy playing. We’ll keep playing for as long as we’re wanted.”

If you know a positive story about someone in our community, contact Carla McLeod at or contact the Summerland Review newsroom at 250-494-5406.



Just Posted

Okanagan a hot spot for film industry

Despite wet, smoky year Okanagan attracts $30 million in film production

B.C.’s biggest pot plant planned for Oliver

Co-founder Tony Holler said the 700,000 sq. ft. facility would produce 100,000 kg of pot per year

Albas takes on mortgage changes in town hall

Conservative MP mostly echoed chamber of commerce concerns but sparred with one attendee on details

Okanagan losing battle to preserve wetlands

Political will called for to create and enforce mitigation standards

Princeton woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

What’s happening

Find out about events happening in your community this weekend

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

RCMP nail sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Loaded shotgun found in vehicle during Okanagan Falls traffic stop

Okanagan Falls man facing a number of weapons related charges

Ice-cream-eating bear draws controversy

An Alberta Wildlife Park posted a video this week of one of their bears going through a Dairy Queen drive-through

Fernie, RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

Penticton businesses in the running for Small Business BC Awards

Two Penticton businesses have made it to the finals of the 15th Annual Small Business BC Awards

High-end whisky seized in B.C. bar raids

Raids end in seizures at Victoria, Nanaimo and Vancouver whisky joints

Most Read