Fox and Cat Music happy to entertain seniors

By Carol Thompson

When they hit the airwaves of American radio in the early 60s, the scrawny Liverpool teens had a number of things going for them: the essential musical “ear,” lyrical language, instruments they played well for their age, rockin’ rhythm, and perhaps greatest of all, that shiny floppy hair that caused young girls around the world to swoon.

They called themselves The Beatles and changed music forever.

We seniors (disclaimer: writer is 76!) still remember the words and music to this day and can still “shake our tail feathers” when bands play a Beatles tune. These days, some of those tunes are still requested when 15-year-old Hallie Nolder puts on a show for numerous senior residences.

Nolder is an aspiring one-person (so far) show called the Fox and Cat Show. She researched words from the 50s and found that a “fox was a beautiful woman, and a cat was a cool person.” Researching songs from the 50s and 60s gave her the incentive to perform for the senior population. Other research showed that music has long been known to soothe the soul, stimulate the brain, improve mood, urge the body to respond with movement of hands, feet and body and improve a person’s overall well-being as well as providing an opportunity for socialization.

A visit to the Colorado Springs Senior Center on any Thursday afternoon from 1:30 to 3 p.m., when the band starts up and the dance begins will prove all those points.

Nolder started loving music in kindergarten, when she joined the Colorado Springs Children’s Choir. She continued through third grade. She is now in Liberty High School’s symphonic band, marching band, choir and jazz choir. The French horn is her band instrument, while the ukulele is her performance partner in her senior shows. A favorite performer of hers is Dee Dee Bridgewater who she heard sing at the Greeley Jazz Fest.

When asked about future ambitions, a pensive answer ensued.

“I know the difficulty of making a living as a musician, so I plan to major in business and keep music as a sideline.”

The term “starving artist” came to mind as she uttered these words, but she is thinking ahead, unusual for one so young.

I asked Nolder if she had any unexpected happenings during her shows.

“Yes,” she said. “During one show, in between songs, a lady came up and said she had written a song but couldn’t sing it and she wanted me to have it. When I opened the paper, it was a receipt for the lady’s dinner!” (Do starving artists have to sing for their supper I wondered?)

I asked what Nolder would like people to know about her.

“I would like people to know that even though I’m young, I am very professional, very serious about what I do and that I am trying to help them even though I’m young.”

She said she observes how they are living and takes note that some people have taken good care of themselves and others not so much. Nolder has decided to try to keep exercising even when not marching with the band (about 20 hours a week for practice.) She has her father’s high metabolism but knows when middle age comes, things change and the weight can pile on.

It is admirable to find young people who want to help make it a better world. So did I feel my whole life, and even if I helped one person, I would have achieved a little of my purpose in life.

To learn more about this entrepreneurial young lady, check her website at Hallienolder.wixsite.com/foxandcatmusic/contact-us or call her at 719-425-9815.

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