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A Day of Music and Unity at the Montco SAAC Folk Festival

Katie and Irene duet
Katie and Irene duet

By: Mark Clark, Executive Director

At Montco SAAC, I am continually inspired by the vitality and spirit of our senior center communities. This was especially true this past Saturday, at the Norristown Senior Center, during our first-ever Montco SAAC Folk Festival. The intergenerational event was a testament to the incredible talent and strong sense of community that thrives within the Norristown center. The festival offered a memorable afternoon of music and togetherness for our seniors, staff, volunteers, and their caregivers and families.

Skip Stephens
Skip Stephens on the keyboard

The festival brought our community together in a music-filled celebration, showcasing our diverse talents. The performances were particularly moving, with each artist bringing their unique voice to the stage. Skip Stephen's soulful melodies filled the room, touching our hearts with his deep, resonant songs. Richard and Carli belted out their rendition of New York, New York, that would make Sinatra proud. Meanwhile, Katie Barbato, a wonderful social worker at Montco SAAC, alongside her husband Brett, captivated us with their vocal prowess and musical perfoirmances, highlighting the wonderful talents within our own team.

A packed house at Montco SAAC

This gathering was more than a concert; it was a vibrant showcase of the strength and diversity in our community. Seeing our members enjoying the performances alongside their caregivers and families was a powerful reminder of the supportive network surrounding them. It was inspiring to visit with caregivers and family members of our seniors, witnessing the networks of support and love that surround them. These interactions added depth to my understanding of our seniors, highlighting the importance of fostering an environment where every individual feels valued, heard, and connected.

The Folk Festival is just one of the ways we celebrate and strengthen these connections at Montco SAAC. Our weekly Wednesday afternoon musical gatherings at the Norristown Center offer a more intimate setting for members to hone their talents and make music with each other. Through these and other activities, Montco SAAC is a welcoming space where every senior can find friendship, support, and opportunities for self-expression.

Richard and Carli
Richard and Carli

Reflecting on the festival, I am grateful for the collective spirit that animated the day. It clearly demonstrated how arts and shared experiences can unite us. As we continue to host events and programs, our goal remains to cultivate an environment where seniors feel valued and connected, not just within Montco SAAC but throughout Montgomery County.

I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who made the Folk Festival a success—our performers, attendees, staff, volunteers and supporters. Your enthusiasm and participation bring our mission to life, creating lasting memories and a stronger community.

Katie and Brett, with Sam Magliente on Bass

If you are interested in supporting or becoming a member of Montco SAAC, please visit us at either our Norristopwn or Ambler centers, or online at

Mark Clark is the Executive Director of Montco SAAC, a nonprofit 501c.3 organiztion working in partnership with the Montgomery County Office of Senior Services and our community partners who, though their generous gifts, work with us in providing Montgomery County seniors a sense of community, creativity and connections at Montco SAAC.

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