To give credence to my belief that people do not retire but rather “transition” into another phase of life, I only need to look at Dr. Jay Van Cura. The Riverside resident has “transitioned” from the medical field to music.
As a physician, Dr. Van Cura specialized in occupational and environmental medicine. His expertise saw him working at various hospitals and corporations, among them Mercy Hospital (Chicago’s oldest), Amtrak and the Chicago Northwestern Railroad. He now lends his expertise in the field as a private consultant.
Music was not a big part of his life, except when he would sing along with his mother, Mildred, who was a founder of The Profiles, a local singing group. At Hauser Junior High he limited himself to playing the clarinet in the band and as part of the chorus in the school operetta directed by Robert Sheehan, for whom the auditorium is named. Upon entering RB, he put aside his clarinet and went out for sports.
After retiring from medicine, he found he wanted to put music back into his life and began taking voice lessons and singing with the choir at the Unitarian Church in Hinsdale where he is a member.
He took an interest in learning to sing harmony and he and a fellow choir member began singing together, forming the team that today is known as Joe and Jay.
Joe Saintcross, from Elmhurst, and Jay have found they are getting a few gigs around the area. Visitors to the Riverside Holiday Stroll may have heard their voices as they performed at the train station.
Individually, Joe has been a member of barbershop harmony groups and has been in international competitions. Jay continues to study and has been seen in chorus parts at the College of DuPage opera productions. Collectively they are preparing a new show, which will feature a capella versions of Broadway tunes.
The duo may be seen Sunday, Feb. 27, when they will be performing at the Riverside Public Library at 2 p.m. The performance is free. For Jay Van Cura the performance will have special meaning, as it will be held in front of the fireplace in the library. The Van Cura family helped refurbish the fireplace in their mother’s memory.
For more information on the singing duo, visit the Joe and Jay website at http://sites.google.com/site/joejaysite/.