Pelham Larks to sing at 70th anniversary concert uniting current and former members


The Pelham Larks, an intergenerational a cappella group, will hold a rare public concert at the Manor Club on Sunday to celebrate the 70th anniversary of their founding by the Junior League in 1952.

The Larks have united women over the decades through a shared love for a cappella singing. The group normally performs in private venues such as nursing homes, shelters and schools. Many former Larks will be in attendance, including 91-year-old Dorothy Young.

“Those of us who like to sing will always find a song to sing,” Young said. She joined the Larks in 1961.

Dana Thayer, nicknamed “Big Bird,” the title given to the group’s leader, said she is excited to share the Larks’ music with the community. She said she joined the group because she “loves singing with other people,” especially the “deeply talented women” who comprise the Larks.

“I am most excited that we have at least 15 (former members) who are coming to perform a song with us,” Thayer said. “We’re going to all sing together the song ‘Bye Bye Blackbird,’ and the interesting thing is that was our audition song. This is going to be such a wonderful thing to welcome back some of our older members, some of whom have mobility issues, but they are determined to be there and they are excited to see old friends.”

Thayer has been Big Bird since 2016, and there will be many former Big Birds in the audience.

The concert will also include the AcaPelicans, Pelham Memorial High School’s a cappella group, along with the Crickets, a men’s a cappella group that is part of the University Glee Club of New York City.

“This is such a milestone anniversary for a wonderful group, so we were so delighted to have been asked,” said Audrey Levenson, a leader of the AcaPelicans.

Megan Kim, the youngest member of the Larks, said, “I love the women I’ve met. I love making music. And I love performing at nursing homes.”

She said she is thrilled to have her kids attend a concert for the first time. “It’s nice to be in a group that is so intergenerational,” said Kim. “Sometimes you only meet parents of other young kids, so it’s been really awesome getting to know sort of a widespread variety of women and getting all of the knowledge that they have from having lived in Pelham for years and years.”

The concert is for all ages and the proceeds will go to Pelham Together and the Manor Club. Go here for tickets.