Encore singers enjoyed a weekend to remember, celebrating in style, first with a party at the Mansion on O Street, Friday May 12th, and then filling the stage to overflowing at DAR Constitution Hall on Saturday for a most spectacular and memorable Tenth Anniversary Concert performance.
The Mansion on O Street, in the Dupont Circle historic district of Washington, is noted for eccentric interior styling which includes hidden doors, secret passages, and rooms in which all furnishings and fixtures are for sale. Encore attendees spent the evening exploring the nooks and crannies of the mansion while enjoying a buffet dinner and bar. Encore’s Executive Director Mary Spencer, and Founder and Artistic Director Jeanne Kelly welcomed the attendees and introduced Encore’s conductors. It was a great way to get into the celebratory mood that would extend into Saturday. VIEW PHOTOS.
Singers arrived three hours early for the Saturday afternoon concert and it took every minute to get ready. Simply organizing 700 singers on stage took well over thirty minutes. The excitement was palpable as both the Chorale and Encore ROCKS ran through their final rehearsals, right up to the moment the doors were opened to the audience.
Mary Spencer welcomed all to this momentous event and introduced emcee Jed Duvall, a former Encore board member and retired national television news correspondent. Jed spoke of Encore’s history before Jeanne Kelly came on stage to recount her experience building Encore over the past ten years.
The first half of the concert brought the rockers to the stage. 150 Encore ROCKS singers performed under the direction of Encore’s Associate Artistic Director, Jeffrey Dokken. Highlights included Forever Doo Wop and a Dick Clark Rock, Roll and Remember medley. The group received a standing ovation from the enthusiastic crowd.
After a brief intermission, approximately 700 Encore Chorale singers filled the stage to overflowing. Directed by Jeanne Kelly, the Chorale produced a “wall of sound” that reverberated throughout Constitution Hall. The concert selections included some of Encore's "greatest hits" of the past ten years. Some audience members reported they were moved to tears by the Chorale’s emotional presentation of songs from Les Miserables. As a finale, the rockers joined the Chorale to sing Encore’s signature piece, And So I Sing, which produced the second standing ovation of the day.
Other concert speakers included Martha Boudreau, Vice President of Marketing and Development for AARP, a presenting sponsor of the concert, and Wendy Miller, wife of the late Dr. Gene Cohen. Jeanne Kelly led a segment of Cohen’s landmark Creativity and Aging Study that led Kelly to start Encore. Miller said Cohen would have been inspired by what had been accomplished by Jeanne and Encore – as was everyone in attendance.
CONCERT PHOTOS HERE - VIDEO COMING SOON.