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  • A Cold Winter's Day

    jk_portrait_v2I am sitting looking out over the Chesapeake Bay and it is snowing and the entire cove and creek are frozen.   The poor heron must be hiding in the brush.  Soon, I will be able to go ice skating! A bit of personal trivia: I once aspired to be a professional figure skater. Back in my high school days, I went to skating camps and competitions in the Philadelphia area (I grew up in Allentown, PA). Then I went off to college and music became my life.  I still have my skates, though, and wouldn't mind getting out and cutting a figure eight!

    All the Encore Chorale rehearsals have been going so well.   The singers are sight reading beautifully and they love the music choices.  That is the one thing that is really difficult about my job.   I sit for hours and go thru music, on the computer and at Foxes Music Store.   I have to choose the perfect music…….music that will challenge, be lots of fun to work on and music that will excite our audiences.  It’s a real task!

    I received a lovely note from the composer of the “Happy Hanukkah” piece we did in the holiday concerts.   Carol Boy Leon writes:

    “It was a great treat for me to attend your very spirited holiday concert at the Kennedy Center.   Your wonderful renditions of all the songs were much appreciated by the audience and I got special joy from listening to you perform “Happy Hanukkah:.  I am thankful to you, to Paul Nelson, and of course, to Jeanne, for all the time you spent learning and rehearsing “Happy Hanukkah”  as well as including it in your performances at several venues.  I hope you’ll have the opportunity to perform a few of my other compositions in the future!

    Many, many thanks for honoring me  with your fine performance.  I wish you health, happiness and continued success in the new year”

    Sincerely,

    Carol Boyd Leon

    Who knows what the weather holds for tomorrow.  The weatherman says “SNOW” and Wednesday they say “ICE”.   ARGH!    Stay tuned……..in more ways than one!

  • A New Season Is Underway

    jk_portrait_v2We are just finishing up our second week of Encore rehearsals with the new spring music. HOORAY.....the singers love the music. And a big hooray for all the wonderful, new singers in each of our chorales. The Smithsonian Encore Chorale has about 75 singers, and they are quite good, many with lots of experience and energy. And you wouldn't believe the tenors and baritones/basses. I couldn't be happier!

    Potomac is steady with the same great, smart singers and we have added one more from the Woodlands Retirement Community. Woodlands put on such a lovely tea for us and we had some folks sit in on the rehearsal. Langston Brown is very strong and continues to grow. They are at about 57 singers, but we are looking for a few more "good men."

    Lorton has added some excellent singers with great voices and a high level of sight reading. And Myerberg is growing growing growing. Again, do you know any men in Baltimore? Laughing The Goodwin House Alexandria has recruited a husband and wife team and these singers continue with their excellent sight reading and Goodwin House Bailey's has brought is four new residents with great skills.

    The singers love the rehearsals. Who wouldn't? The music is so much fun! I can't wait for the concerts.

    I had a meeting with Anne Arundel Community College last week and we will be starting an Encore Chorale on Mondays, starting next fall, to be precise.....the Monday after Labor Day. So I will finally be in my neck of the woods. I am very excited about being in Annapolis. There are lots of retired folks in that area, and with no auditions and challenging and fun repertoire, I am sure it will be a hit.

    I am amazed that singers drive great distances to sing with Encore. Marge Lynch drives to the Smithsonian every week from Bridgeville, Delaware! And Ruth Marshall drives from Port Republic, MD to sing at the Smithsonian. Amazing. I truly admire their burning desire to sing.

    I am still on a huge high from the Inauguration. Larry and I were glued to the TV. No, we didn't make it to the Mall for the celebration. The warmth of our home was way too comfortable. And I'm not a fan of the cold. But it was a truly glorious day!