How a love of music can keep retirees young at heart

The story of how the Renaissance band kept residents entertained

At Renaissance Retirement Living in Victoria Point, we believe your retirement should be the best years of your life. Our social calendar which is mostly organised by our residents gives you plenty of opportunities to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

One example was the Renaissance band, ‘The Living Legends’, that began back in 2016. Three residents, John Mowat, Gary Gibson, and David Mountford – all with an interest in music – started playing together in John’s back room. Pat Smith joined to help out on vocals, followed by Mike Snoxall who became the lead vocalist and band coordinator.

A week in the life of a retirement village

Steve Marcussen then came along adding vocals and guitar, followed by Bob McGinley on drums and Graham Vellnagel as the band’s sound technician. Lead guitarist Lindsay Morrison completed the line-up in 2018. Unfortunately, Bob’s health prevented him from playing and he handed the sticks over to Kiwi-born Kapiki. Mike tells us the story of ‘The Living Legends’.


Entertaining an enthusiastic retirement village audience

“In the beginning, we played a few little gigs, but once Lindsay joined us, he became our musical director and made sure everyone had the right music and chord charts. We practiced a lot, got our vocals up to scratch, and performed our first concert in Feb 2018.”

The Living Legends grew to the point where they played six concerts a year at Renaissance, as well as a few outside concerts at other retirement villages and for special occasions like fundraisers or birthdays.

“We were an experienced lot, with some of our members having been around the music and performing scene since the sixties,” Mike said. “We were all fellas in our mid-70s and our guest female singer Dawn Moore joined us for two concerts a year to add a different dimension to the band. A couple of our members came from outside Renaissance, the rest of us were happily retired here.”

Getting retirees up onto the dance floor

With a repertoire of over 250 songs, the band played a wide range of music, with a bit of a country leaning. As their name suggested, the members did their best to keep alive the music of legends such as Elvis, The Beatles, Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, The Eagles, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, and The Shadows.

“We measured our success by the number of people on the dance floor and they all got up when we performed. We played for two hours and wanted them exhausted when they go back to their seats,” Mike said. “The residents loved it, the band was just one part of the great entertainment and activities we on offer at Renaissance.”


According to Mike, the members lived for their music and were passionate about performing. “We all had a love of music, and often exchanged ideas for songs to perform. My passion was the singing side – we all believe playing music is good for the soul and it’s what keeps us alive.

The Living Legends may have now hung up their instruments, but their spirit lives on in the wonderful community atmosphere at Renaissance.

“Visitors who came to our concerts used to say things like, ‘This is fantastic, you’ve got it so good here.’ I’d have to agree. There’s a very caring community spirit at Renaissance. It’s like a big family where we’re always looking out for each other.”

Discover your "road map" to retirement living

There were plenty of ways to enjoy life at Renaissance

Whether it’s kicking your heels up on the dance floor, singing in a group, learning line dancing, or discovering the fine art of whiskey appreciation, there’s always plenty to keep you entertained, engaged, and socially active throughout your retirement.

Come visit our wonderful community, visit our residents, and see what you could enjoy! Call us on (07) 3820 7700 or contact us today to find out about our upcoming information sessions.

Topics: Living in a retirement village

Posted by Renaissance Retirement Living on 20-Jun-2023 14:29:21
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