With her family sitting beside her, former Veletones choir director Wendy Vendetti took in a performance from the group she calls her extended family during a spring celebration concert Sunday.
Earlier this year, Vendetti stepped away from the seniors choir she led for the past 25 years, passing the torch to new director Annette Loeffen.
"I took over from Dorothy Tucker who originated the choir. She asked me to help her out at first and eventually, I took over from her," said Vendetti moments before taking her seat at Welland Community Wellness Complex.
She said she enjoyed leading and directing the choir immensely.
"They really feel like a family to me … an extended family. It's been great."
While she never performed with the choir, Vendetti sang with the Harbour Lite Singers and Fenwick United Church choir.
When it came to directing The Velvetones, she had to select the right music for the choirs' abilities.
"And hopefully things they liked to sing. That's the part I enjoyed the most I think."
The group, she said, is filled with people who enjoy singing. There were never any auditions for people who wanted to join. And though it may be a seniors choir, Vendetti said anyone who liked to sing was welcome.
Being a shy person by nature, she said directing the more than two dozen women and men in the group allowed her to come out of her shell.
Debilitating mobility issues, her doctor telling her she needed to rest, and a new director ready to take over all led to her decision to step away from directing.
"I think I left the choir in good hands," she said of Loeffen, adding she plans to keep attending the group's concerts.
Asked about any highlights over the years, Vendetti said all of the choirs' performances were great.
"Every single show they surprised and did their very best. We weren't a perfect choir, but we did a good job for the ability we had. We put a lot into it … and I think the audience enjoyed it because we enjoyed it."