Giving meaning to retirement

By Xu Wei in Beijing and Shi Xiaofeng in Hangzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-16 07:55

Giving meaning to retirement

Four members of the vocal group Suiyuan Old Boys wear masks while performing on stage in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Aged 80 to 93, performers from Hangzhou rise to fame covering hits

With their gray hair and dark suits, the grassroots vocal group Suiyuan Old Boys has risen to instant fame among residents in Hangzhou with their lively performances of hit songs.

Comprised of four people aged 80 to 93, the group has staged several performances in the Yuhang district in the provincial capital of East China's Zhejiang province. Their performances show how retirees can enjoy their lives after work. Their signature cover songs include You Raise Me Up, originally composed and performed by the Irish-Norwegian duo Secret Garden, and One Day When We Were Young by Austrian tenor Richard Tauber.

"We were simply trying to entertain ourselves. We did not expect any fame or spotlight," said Wang Jing, an 80-year-old member of the group.

Wang, the dean of a hospital in Hangzhou before his retirement, said the group was initially awestruck by the media spotlight, as fame was the last thing they wanted.

The other three members of the group, also well-educated, are: Wang Dezhong, 93, the most senior member of the group and a graduate of the National Central University who is a former official with the Fujian provincial department of petroleum; Fu Weihua, 86, the former dean of the Zhejiang Academy of Medical Sciences; and Wang Zhecheng, 81, a Chinese language major with Peking University, who is the former editor-in-chief of a magazine in Hangzhou.

The four barely knew each other until they moved into the neighborhood about a year ago. "I held a party in my home and we did a chorus of the song You Raise Me Up, and then we had this idea of forming a vocal group," Wang Dezhong said.

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