The Encore Chorale Holiday Concert season of 2011 began with a rousing concert at Anne Arundel Community College Pascal Center for Performing Arts on Friday, December 9 at 7:30pm, presenting Encore Chorales from Myerberg, AACC and our newest chorale from Southern Maryland. Ninety singers wowed their enthusiastic audience with a confident and excellent choral sound. The singers looked sophisticated with the ladies in elegant black and the men in dark suits and white shirts with great festive holiday ties.
The repertoire for all the Encore Holiday Concerts included It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Eddie Pola and George Wyle Sing We Now of Christmas, arranged by Kevin McChesney, All on a Cold Winter’s Night by Douglas E. Wagner,a melody based on the Greensleeves, S’vivon (The Dreidl) by Darmon Meader, Brendan Graham’s Christmas Pipes, Christmas a la Fa La La by Jay Althaus, and the highlight of the evening, Variations on Jingle Bells by John Pierpont, arranged for the Turtle Creek Chorale. The concert closed with the Hallelujah Chorus by G.F.Handel.
The singers sang with a full warm, ringing tone that filled the concert hall. Their diction was precise and their stage presence was elegant. And when it came time to deliver personality in Christmas A La Fa La La and Jingle Bells, they were hilarious. The audience showed their appreciation with long applause.Soprano soloist, Carole Winter, graced the staged singing a stunning Oh Joyful Children by Lee Holdridge and Oh Holy Night by Adolph Adam. She delivered a gorgeous, legato tone and her high register floated effortlessly. She closed with the quintessential holiday favorite The Christmas Song by Mel Torme and Bob Wells. Her crystal clear high notes rang when singing the obligato of Sing We Now of Christmas with the chorale. She had great fun with her variations with the chorale in Jingle Bells. VIEW PHOTO ALBUM OF THIS CONCERT HERE.
Conductor, Jeanne Kelly, warmed the audience up, and all enjoyed a sing along of favorite Christmas music. Children from the audience came on stage to ring jingle bells during Rudolph. Great smiles and great rhythm. There were some excellent sounds coming from the audience. …….perhaps some future Encore singers!
The AACC Encore Chorale sang a very well attended concert for the Ginger Cove Retirement Community in Annapolis on Monday, Dec. 12. They were still is high gear from their Dec. 9 concert and they sang with great joy and voices full of energy.
On Tuesday, Dec. 13, the Potomac Academy of George Mason University sang a wonderful concert at The Woodlands Retirement Community in Fairfax. This 35 voice chorale sings with a truly great sound and boundless energy. Encore baritone sang the Jingle Bell Variations solo with a booming sound and witty style. The audience greatly appreciated the concert.
The second concert of Dec. 13 presented the chorales of Langston Brown Senior Center, Goodwin House Baileys Crossroads and Goodwin House Alexandria in a concert at Goodwin House Alexandria. These three chorales are the original “Senior Singer” Chorales and have been singing together for ten years. It was a great evening of energetic and grand singing. Don Seibenaler, Howard Smith, GHBC singers and Ben Wilmot, GHBC singer and pianist delighted the audience with Christmas favorites, complete with antlers and a Rudolph nose. A great evening was shared by all.
On December 14, the Smithsonian Encore Chorale with 100 singers presented a concert at the Smithsonian National American Indian Museum to a large and most appreciative audience. Guests included friends, family, Ingleside Retirement Community and World War 2 Veterans from the Veterans Home in DC. The chorale sang a fabulous and spirited concert, pulling out all the stops. The hall sent their voices soaring with beauty and strength. The audience gave a long applause to these very deserving singers. VIEW PHOTO ALBUM OF THIS CONCERT HERE.
The second concert of Dec. 14 took place at the Friendship Heights Community Center, presenting the Washington Conservatory of Music at Glen Echo Park Encore Chorale. The singers were joined by soprano Alexandra Phillips. Sing We Now of Christmas was a hit with Ms. Phillips soaring above the chorus. She delighted the audience with Jesu Bambino and a beautiful, hushed Lo How Rose Ere Blooming and then returned to the stage in a dazzling and comedic obligato with the singers in Variations on Jingle Bells. Another wonderful concert by the very talented Encore Chorale singers.
December 15 presented the new Southern Maryland Encore Chorale, under the direction of Krystal Rickard McCoy, at the Asbury~Solomons Retirement Community in Solomons Island, MD. The hall was over capacity. There was standing room only to hear these great singers. Ms. McCoy conducted with charm, wit, and a great musicality that produced a full, precise and excellent choral tone. Jeanne Kelly, Founder of Encore, was at the piano. The audience especially loved the Variations on Jingle Bells with Ms. McCoy sang the solo with lovely lyric sound and a delightful comedic touch. It was the highlight of the evening. The Southern Maryland Chorale’s first solo concert was a huge success. VIEW PHOTO ALBUM OF THIS CONCERT HERE.
The Virginia Encore Chorale and Virginia singers from the Smithsonian Encore Chorale sang a fantastic concert on Saturday, December 17 at Kenmore Middle School Concert Hall to a full house. They were joined by the exciting Jubilation Ringers of Messiah Methodist Church directed by Robert Ruldolph and Elizabeth Kluegel, Arlington soprano and daughter of Langston Brown singers Dana Kluegel. The great acoustics complimented the chorale’s excellent sound and precise diction. The singers sang with passion, wit and truly charmed their audience with their performances of Christmas A La Fa La La and Jingle Bells. They were joined by Elizabeth Kluegel, Arlington soprano and daughter of Langston Brown singer Dana Kluegel. Her elegant stage presence and gorgeous lyric soprano voice was a true hit. Her performances of Oh Holy Night and The Virgin’s Slumber Song were heavenly and she was charming in her Variations on Jingle Bells, showing humor, flexibility and range. Joining the singers for the beautiful Christmas Pipes were gifted young musicians Megan Chaplin and Emily Wilson, flute and Kevin Chaplin, oboe. The singers and musicians created a perfect ensemble of passion and beautiful tone. The Jubilation Ringers performed excellently Masters in This Hall by Kevin McChesney and Tomorrow Shall be My Dancing Day by John A. Behnke. Their ringing was true merriment and joy. The concert came to a close with a huge sound of the Encore Chorale joined by the audience and Jubilation Ringers in a rousing Joy to the World. The long and thundersous applause was a show of deep gratitude. VIEW PHOTO ALBUM OF THIS CONCERT HERE.
On December 18 the Maryland Encore Chorale and Maryland singers from the Smithsonian Encore Chorale performed a grand concert at the Cultural Arts Center of Montgomery County, Silver Spring. The singers were joined again by the Jubilation Ringers under the excellent direction of Robert Rudolph, soprano Alexandra Phillips, Mary Anne Brundage, harp, David Brundage, oboe and trumpeters Michael Fox and Michael Barber. The 135 singers performed with a full body tone and precise diction. Their attention to conductor Jeanne Kelly was evident throughout the entire concert. Highlights of this concert were the spirited Sing We Now of Christmas with the excellent ringing and glorious soprano obligato of Ms. Phillips. The Christmas a La Fa La La was hysterical and Variations on Jingle Bells completely charmed the audience with the Jubiliation Ringers outstanding ringing and Ms. Phillip’s very creative and charming performance, a real crowd pleaser. Duo Mary Anne and David Brundage performed a heavenly Bretton Carol. Alexandra Phillips sang a gorgeous rendition of Jesu Bambino accompanied by the hauntingly, lovely oboe playing. Ms. Phillips Rejoice Greatly dazzled with perfect coloratura runs and bell like high notes. The chorale was joined by the brilliant sound of trumpets for a glorious Hallelujah Chorus and concert ended perfectly with the trumpets, bells and chorale in a very spirited Joy to the World, with the audience participating. This grand concert was made possible the generous support of Family and Nursing Care of Silver Spring. VIEW PHOTO ALBUM OF THIS CONCERT HERE.
The chorales of Langston Brown and Goodwin Houses of Alexandria and Baileys Crossroads joined forces to perform a memorable concert at Goodwin House Alexandria to a standing room only audience. Over 90 singers sang with energy, charm, precision and humor. Making a cameo appearance were Goodwin House Baileys singers Don Siebenaler and Howard Smith, accompanied by Ben Wilmot. Again, Rudolph was a hit with the big red shiny nose. It was a warm and fun evening enjoyed by all .
The eleventh and final Encore Chorale Holiday Concert took place on the Millennium Stage of the Kennedy Center, Friday, December 23 at 6pm to over 1000 in the audience and also world-wide web listeners around the globe. 250 singers performed gloriously, joined by the Jubilation Ringers, soprano soloist Krystal Rickard McCoy, conductor of the new Southern Maryland Encore Chorale, Mary Anne Brundage, harp, David Brundage, oboe, and young musicians Megan Chaplin and Emily Wilson, Flute and Kevin Chaplin, oboe. The excitement of the evening was electrifying and the sound was huge and overwhelmingly confident and grand. Hits of the evening were Variations on Jingle Bells with Ms. McCoy spinning out a very funny cadenza above the singers and the ringers playing with clarity and precision. Clearly everyone had a ball with this piece. Some of the audience members had come to the Kennedy Center to take part in the annual Sing Along Messiah later in the evening and they joined Encore in the Hallelujah Chorus, with conductor Robert Rudolph, conductor of the new Springfield Encore Chorale, conducting in the audience. The concert came to a huge climax with everyone joining forces in Joy To the World, with the trumpets, bells, singers and audience. It was truly a night all will remember for a long time. VIEW PHOTO ALBUM OF THIS CONCERT HERE.