PHOTOS: Naples twins brighten up senior center days with rockin’ rollin’ performances

Marni and Matthew Roberts, both juniors at Barron Collier High School, started their singing group,The Rockin’ Rollin’ Twins while in middle school. The duo wanted to be more involved at the Carlisle senior residential community in Naples where their late grandfather lived.

BRANDI BROXSON

Marni and Matthew Roberts, both juniors at Barron Collier High School, started their singing group,The Rockin’ Rollin’ Twins while in middle school. The duo wanted to be more involved at the Carlisle senior residential community in Naples where their late grandfather lived.

— Marni and Matthew Roberts, both juniors at Barron Collier High School, started their singing group, The Rockin’ Rollin’ Twins while in middle school.

The duo wanted to be more involved at the Carlisle senior residential community in Naples where their late grandfather lived.

“We decided it would be a fun thing to do to go and sing them a couple songs,” Matthew Roberts said.

Marni, who is also a majorette at Barron Collier High School, said she enjoys performing for the residents at the Carlisle and seeing them sing and clap along.

“We’re pretty peppy and I guess the people like it a lot,” she said.

Marni and Matthew’s mother, Carol Roberts, a teacher at Golden Terrace Elementary, said the twins started performing from a young age at Kids Acts at the Sugden Community Theatre, local Polish festivals and talent shows.

“They really love to perform...it was a natural evolution,” Carol Roberts said. “They just evolved into little performers.”

According to Marni Roberts, she and her brother perform three to four times a year. One of their performances is at the Caladium festival held each August in Lake Placid.

“When we were younger we performed for our family and for fun around the house,” Marni Roberts said.

“We don’t try to book gigs a lot we just do it sometimes for other people to cheer up their day.”

Carol Roberts said that she thinks the Carlisle residents who watch Marni and Matthew perform relate them to their own grandchildren.

“When we’ve been [at the Carlisle] before you can just see how the people react and you just have a gut feeling that you are doing something really good,” Carol Roberts said.

Carol said she and her husband, Jack, in addition to carrying the equipment, make song recommendations to Marni and Matthew for their performances.

“We try to be supportive in a positive way and we will also critique and go through music selections with them,” she said.

According to Matthew, he and his sister sing oldies like Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley as well as newer songs from Rascal Flatts during their performances. He also said sometimes they will have dance numbers to accompany their songs.

Marni and Matthew put on their most recent performance at the Carlisle on Saturday.

The twins performed traditional Christmas songs including “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree”, “Blue Christmas” and “Feliz Navidad” for a room of about 25 residents.

Resident, Theresa Giovannini said she enjoyed the twins’ holiday performance on Saturday. “I thought it was very good,” she said. “The music selection was good.”

Giovannini appreciates and prefers young people coming to visit and spend time with her and the residents at the Carlisle.

“I’d rather have young people perform,” Giovannini said.

Carlisle Activity Director, Amanda Stith said at least once a month there is something generational that the residents can attend in addition to a weekly social hour that the residents also have access to.

“I think it’s great, we have a lot of young people who want to come and perform and engage the generational gap,” Stith said.

“Our residents really enjoy it,” she said. “The extra energy really is good for them.”

According to Stith, the performances afford the residents with social time where they can sit with their friends and enjoy the performances. Stith said the performances also serve as an emotional experience for the residents during a time of the year when they may be missing their families.

Carol said the twins keep very busy with school, where they are 4.0 GPA students, and in addition to performing fill their time by operating their own pool cleaning business. A background their father, Jack has experience with. According to Carol, Marni also holds the current title of Miss Lee County Teen USA and Matthew spends his time designing webpages for local businesses.

“I feel that if they are busy making the right choices that they will not have time to make the bad decisions,” Carol Roberts said.

For these reasons the Rockin’ Rollin’ Twins said their next performance isn’t until next summer, although they hope to continue performing through high school and possibly after.

“I don’t know what the future holds but [to keep performing] would be awesome,” Matthew Roberts said.

© 2011 gonaples.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Sessions