Music in the morning. Music in the evening. Music all day long.
And music in Pearl Rosenthal's dreams.
Rosenthal, 87, said she thinks and dreams music every day of her life.
While growing up in Boston, she was surrounded by a house full of musicians, made up of family and friends. Rosenthal's father was a violinist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Even Rosenthal's maternal grandfather loved music: He was a cantor in Hungary and shared his love for music while leading the musical prayers in religious services at a synagogue in Hungary.
As a child, Rosenthal studied piano, though she had always wanted to sing, she said. Her father insisted she should study piano instead of having vocal lessons. She listened to her father and studied hard to learn the piano.
However, at 16, while in high school, Rosenthal was so drawn to singing she secretly auditioned for the New England Conservatory of Music, winning a scholarship to pursue studies in voice.
Seventy-one years later, Rosenthal still has the letter of acceptance to the conservatory. Rosenthal is still proud and amazed at what she was able to do as a teenager.
Rosenthal studied voice at the conservatory for three years, then left to have private voice lessons while a student at Boston University. Rosenthal, a first soprano, sang in her temple choir, had lead parts in local shows and sang whenever she could while at Boston University.
At age 26, Rosenthal married Alvin Rosenthal, had three children and became a stay-at-home mom, singing whenever she had the time. She surrounded her three children with music and encouraged them to learn an instrument.
Her son Rich Rosenthal, who lives in south Charlotte, also acquired a great appreciation for music and is a big supporter of musical happenings, particularly the Tosco Music Party, a three-times-yearly concert in Charlotte held at Central Piedmont Community College that features a variety of musical acts.
Pearl and Alvin Rosenthal left Boston for Florida in 1989 and lived there for 18 years. Her husband passed away in 2005. In Florida, Pearl was involved in numerous musical programs, the highlight being her stint as leader of the Palm Shores Chorus.
Pearl relocated to Charlotte about three years ago to be near her son.
She now lives in an independent living apartment at the Carriage Club of Charlotte in south Charlotte, where she again has made a name for herself in musical circles. She started, manages and leads the Carriage Club Chorus, which performs at the Carriage Club, churches, synagogues and for community groups.
The chorus consists of 14 women and one man; most are in their 80s or 90s.
The sole male of the group, Julian Clarkson, 87, said he is having a ball.
"I'm delighted to be able to sing with 14 ladies. I'm the only man and I love every minute of it," said Clarkson. "I can't think of anything else I would like to do."
"We get such joy in singing and sharing with music," said Rosenthal, who is proud of the chorus. The group sings music from Cole Porter and Gershwin and loves performing musicals like Oklahoma, medleys from World War II and more.
Rosenthal shares her enthusiasm for music with everyone she encounters. Jaynie Segal, life enrichment director at the Carriage Club, said she is thrilled Rosenthal started the chorus.
"It's such a wonderful thing that Pearl and the other members of the Carriage Club Chorus are doing," said Segal. "They have not only brought joy to us, but they have shared their voice throughout the community."
"You can see how much they love singing together, and you can see the appreciation in the faces of their audiences," said Segal.