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  • Goodwin House Alexandria - Ten Years!

    Ten years ago, Jeanne Kelly started the "Senior Singers" group at Goodwin House Alexandria, while she was Executive Director of the Levine School of Music's Northern Virginia Campus.  Their participation in (and the success of) the Creativity and Aging Study inspired Jeanne to start Encore.  The chorale is still going strong, with some of the original members of the "Senior Singers" still active in the Chorale.  A few members' photos below:




  • Brighton Gardens Singers Perform First Concert

    After three months of rehearsals, the Encore Singers of Brighton Gardens, Tuckerman Lane performed their first concert, under the direction of Linda Maguire, before an appreciative audience at Brighton Gardens, Monday, October 5th, 2009. To launch the photo album of this memorable concert, click on any picture below, then click on the right side of the picture to advance to the next.


  • Choral Workshop Coming to Laurel Lake

  • A Mighty Sound at Langston Brown!

    With 59 singers, the Langston Brown Encore Chorale, one of Encore's original, can raise the roof!  And the addition of 14 new singers this fall, certainly adds a "certain something."  Welcome to the newest members of the Langston Brown Chorale: Sopranos Lorna Harrison, Rada Nikolic, Fran Sims, and Donna White; Altos Ruby Chapman, Mary Cotrell, Anita Defranco, Lois Gordon, Barbara Lundquist, Beth Moffett, Syvlia Rabinovitz, and Laurie Rodgers; Tenor Norman D'Amours; and Baritone Max Rabinovitz.  Some photos from a recent rehearsal below:



  • Potomac Arts Academy Chorale Begins Fourth Year

    The Potomac Arts Academy of George Mason University Encore Chorale now comprises over 45 excellent singers who meet to rehearse weekly the Woodlands Retirement Community in Fairfax. The Chorale performed a holiday concert at The Woodlands in December, as well as joining with the other Baltimore/Washington area Chorales at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage on December 23, 2012.potomac_fall2009-1

  • Choral Workshop Coming to Laurel Lake

  • Myerberg Chorale Sounding Better than Ever!

    The Myerberg Senior Center Encore Chorale gained some new male voices in September, 2009, and has never sounded better! One of Encore's original chorales, the Myerberg group now numbers 37 singers. And most were on hand to help Encore Director Jeanne Kelly celebrate her 60th birthday on October 8th - and helped to eat a few of her 60 "birthday cakes." See photo below...





  • Schweinhaut Hits the Floor Running!

    No need to gain momentum at Encore's newest chorale at the Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center in Silver Spring, Maryland! By the second week, the chorale numbered 39 enthusiastic singers, making it the third largest Encore Chorale in the Baltimore/Washington area!  And a great group it is, with some truly outstanding singers - all eagerly preparing for the holiday concert series, including a December 16th (6:00pm) concert at the Kennedy Center and December 18th (1:00pm) at the Schweinhaut Center. Most of the singers are pictured below:schweinhaut_fall2009-2


  • Ten Concerts! Wow!

    Encore Chorale presented ten concerts this spring season and all ten of them showed how very talented the Encore singers, ages 55 and up, are.  The varied repertoire included spirituals Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit arranged by Moses Hogan and Didn’t My Lord Deliver DanielThe Water is Wide with harp accompaniment, and Down to the River to Pray from the Motion Picture O Brother, Where Art Thou!The lighter side brought Just One of Those Things by Cole Porter and a wonderful medley of Lerner and Loewe.   Ending the concert was Gershwin’s triumphant Strike Up the Band.

    The season started off with the Myerberg Encore Chorale performing for the Myerberg Senior Center Gala, featuring TV actor and writer Michael Tucker.  The singers sang a spirited mini concert of portions from Lerner and Loewe and ended with a rousing Strike Up the Band.  They were indeed very well received.  Michael Tucker’s (who is 65 years old himself) kindergarten teacher, June Sachs, was in the chorale.   Talk about a surprise for Tucker!

    Singers from Langston, Smithsonian, Lorton and Potomac Academy at George Mason University performed a rousing concert at Lorton Workhouse Arts Center on May 1 under the “Big Top.”  Their concert was the first of Lorton’s summer concert season and the singers sang a spirited concert in 90 degree temperatures.  Their sound was precise and exciting and the audience rewarded the singers with much applause.  They certainly opened the Lorton Workhouse summer season in grand style. PHOTO ALBUM.

    The next week Myerberg singers gave a memorable performance for the Myerberg Art Show and the large audience of over 200 showed their appreciation.

    The Woodlands Retirement Community hosted Encore Chorales from Lorton and Potomac Academy of GMU for an Encore performance at their Open House.  The thirty singers were impressive in their performance, singing with clarity and focused sound.

    The next evening found the original “Senior Singers Chorales” in concert at the Goodwin House Baileys Crossroads Retirement Community and on May 19 at the Goodwin House Alexandria.  The ninety singers gave a rousing performance and Ben Wilmot, a Goodwin House Baileys resident, presented a very impressive and beautiful piano medley of Cole Porter melodies.  Both evenings were a sheer delight.

    Encore’s next concert was at St. Stephen’s Methodist Church in Burke, VA where Encore was the final act in St. Stephen’ spring concert series.  The magnificent space helped make the singers sound truly fabulous.   Encore Chorale singers from Langston, Lorton, Potomac Academy at GMU and Smithsonian performed flawlessly.   The finale was an audience sing along to The Sound of Musicscore and they certainly put out a great sound.  It was a most memorable afternoon.  PHOTO ALBUM.

    The final week Schweinhaut Encore Chorale presented a concert at the Schweinhaut Senior Center in Silver Spring where they enjoyed a large audience.  The 55 singers performed beautifully, finishing their first year as an Encore Chorale.   Edward Chow, Jr. Secretary of the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs, a former member of the Smithsonian Encore Chorale, brought an eloquent message from Maryland Governor, Martin O’Malley.  There were many veterans in the audience and Secretary Chow’s visit was most appreciated.  PHOTO ALBUM.

    Encore was pleased to present the Maryland Encore Chorales in their first performance together at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, MD on Thursday, May 20.   The singers had a big, beautiful sound and the energy level was huge.  The auditorium was packed to hear these wonderful singers in concert.   The guest artist for the evening was the fun and exciting Maryland Express Barbershop Quartet.  One of their songs required an audience member to sing and sustain a “very high note” for a “very long time.”  Tenor Don Carter from the Schweinhaut Encore Chorale stepped up to the plate magnificently.  The crowd roared!  Secretary Edward Chow of the Maryland Veteran’s Affairs again addressed the audience with words from Gov. O’Malley and the evening was a huge success. PHOTO ALBUM.

    After a long and busy couple of weeks, Encore reached the end of the season with a final concert on Friday, May 21 at Washington – Lee High School with over 170 Encore Chorale singers performing.  It was an incredible evening of American Song with fabulous singing and energy.   The very large crowd nearly filled the 400 seat auditorium.  Smithsonian baritone Terry Hufford accompanied the lovely Water is Wide on the harp with the singers.  The guest artist for the evening was Alan Yellowitz of The Beat Goes On.  He did a drumming circle, inviting audience and chorale members to join in on the fun.   There were many different kinds of percussion instruments played by audience and chorale members, ages 8 thru 84! Lots of great sound!  PHOTO ALBUM. BEAT GOES ON PHOTOS.

    This final concert was proof that older adults can flourish and perform a top quality concert with total command if given the opportunity to study under a professional artist.  They were simply superb.

    A detailed schedule of the concerts, along with links to photo albums, is below.

    Mon. Apr 26th, 7:00pm
    Baltimore Hebrew Congregation
    Myerberg Chorale - "An Evening with Michael Tucker and Jill Eikenberry"
    Sat. May 1st, 3:00pm Lorton Workhouse Arts Center - Under the Tent

    Lorton, Langston Brown, Potomac Academy of GMU, Smithsonian Chorales


    Sun. May 2nd, 4:00pm Myerberg Senior Center Myerberg Chorale at Myerberg Senior Center Art Show
    Tue. May 11th, 12:30pm
    Woodlands Retirement Community, Fairfax Potomac Academy of GMU at Woodlands Open House
    Wed. May 12th, 7:30pm
    Goodwin House, Bailey's Crossroads
    GHA, GHBC, Langston Chorales
    Sun. May 16th, 3:00pm
    St. Stephen's UMC Church, Burke, VA
    Langston Brown, Lorton, Potomac Academy at GMU Chorales - St. Stephen's Concert Series


    Mon. May 17th, 7:00pm Margaret S. Schweinhaut Senior Center
    Schweinhaut Chorale


    Wed. May 19th, 7:30pm
    Goodwin House Alexandria
    GHA, GHBC, Langston Chorales
    Thur. May 20th, 7:30pm
    Pascal Performing Arts Center, Anne Arundel Community College, Arnold, MD
    AACC, Myerberg, and Schweinhaut Chorales

    And Featuring the Maryland Express Barbershop Quartet



    Fri. May 21st, 7:30pm
    Washington-Lee High School, Arlington, VA
    Lorton, Potomac Academy of GMU, GHA, GHBC, and Smithsonian Chorales
    Wed. June 2, 7:00pm Laurel Lake Retirement Community, Hudson, OH Laurel Lake Chorale
  • Holiday Concert Schedule Set

    The Encore Chorales of Virginia, Maryland and DC will perform a total of ten concerts during the December holiday season. Additionally, the Encore Singers will perform the weekend of December 5th and 6th. Join us! Dates, times and locations are below:
    Sat. Dec 5th, 1:00pm Renwick Gallery, DC Smithsonian Chorale Free
    Sat. Dec 5th, 4:00pm Brighton Gardens Tuckerman Lane Encore Singers Free
    Sun. Dec 6th, 4:00pm Brighton Gardens Friendship Heights Encore Singers Free
    Mon. Dec 7th 7:30pm Goodwin House Baileys Crossroads GHA, GHBC, Langston Chorales Closed to Public
    Tue. Dec 8th, 1:00pm Woodlands Retirement Community, Fairfax Potomac Academy of GMU Chorale Free
    Tue. Dec 8th, 4:00pm Goodwin House Alexandria GHA, GHBC, Langston Chorales Closed to  Public
    Thur. Dec 10th, 12:30pm Myerberg Senior Center Myerberg Chorale Free
    Sun. Dec 13th, 1:00pm American Art Museum, Kogod Courtyard Smithsonian, Myerberg Chorales Free
    Tue. Dec 15th, 1:00pm Woodlands Retirement Community, Fairfax Potomac Academy of GMU Chorale Closed to Public
    Wed. Dec 16th, 6:00pm Kennedy Center Millennium Stage All DC area Chorales Performing Free
    Fri. Dec 18th, 1:00pm Schweinhaut Senior Center Schweinhaut Chorale Free
    Sat. Dec 19th, 4:00pm Kenmore Middle School, Arlington All Encore Chorales, plus Columbia Flute Choir (photo below)and Paul Nelson & Michael Foster, Trumpet
    Sun. Dec 20th, 1:30pm Four Seasons Community, Dumfries Lorton Chorale Closed to Public
  • Choral Workshop at Laurel Lake

    jk_sm2009Encore Founder and Director Jeanne Kelly will be conducting a one-day choral workshop for the older adult voice on Saturday, November 14th, 2009, at the Laurel Lake Retirement Community in Hudson, Ohio. Laurel Lake is the home of Encore's first National Affiliate Chorale.

    This dynamic workshop for singers age 55 and up, as well as choral conductors of older adults, will discuss vocal technique that will produce the best sound while protecting the health of the voice. The workshop is open to all and is free for Laurel Lake residents. There will be a $15 fee for non-residents that includes lunch.  Call 330-655-1436 to register or click here for more details.

  • Full Moon Cruise - NOT!

    This past weekend was the quintessential sailing weekend.    Bright sunny skies,  great wind, cool temperatures.   So Larry and I sailed up to the beautiful Rhode River, about a two hour sail from our home.   We anchored in a gorgeous spot that overlooks all the Smithsonian wetlands.   It is truly spectacular.   The geese were flying, the sun was setting and then........the brilliant,  almost-full moon was rising in the East.   It lit up the entire Bay.   The official full moon was not until Sunday, and with the great forecast, we decided we should share this with someone.   So we called some friends and they were available, so we were set to do a full moon cruise.

    Sunday morning came with a brilliant blue sky and excellent wind.  We wanted to get back to port to do some touch up work on our boat teak (boat has to be perfect for guests and the full moon) and do some food shopping.   When we got out on the bay, we only needed to fly the jib (forward sail) because the wind was plentiful and soon we were charging down to Herring Bay at 6 knots.   Ahhhhhhhhhhh

    I was sailing the boat and Larry was taking a nap.   I love sailing this boat.   It seems like complete freedom and when he is not overlooking my skills, I feel like a pro.   Confident.   I dodged hundreds of crab pots.  They move them out to deeper water when the temperatures get colder.

    tow_jammWhen we arrived in Herring Bay Larry was awake and he took over the helm.   Within ten minutes he had snagged a crab pot on our propeller.   ARGH!   With the crab pot line entwined around the propeller, you can't use the engine and we have to use the engine to get into our slip.   So we had a true problem.   It was very windy and the best solution was to drop the jib and put the anchor down and call     "Tow Jamm - Boat US".   Yep, we had to get towed!   And we had to cancel our full moon cruise and call a diver to come this week and cut the line off the propeller.  Double ARRGH.

    Way to go darling husband.  Undecided But don't worry,  the next time we go aground or snag a crab pot, I will probably be at the helm and then you can @##$$%%^&@&^*    J

    There will be another full moon in a month!

  • A Milestone Week

    JK_Boat_042509Last week Encore proudly opened our second Affiliate Encore Chorale in Indiana, PA under the very excellent and able direction of Jane Potter Baumer.   The chorale members were very excited to be a part of Encore and they started right in rehearsing holiday music for their very own performances.   Encore keeps growing and serving so many singers.   I feel like a very proud parent!

    Last week, our Encore rehearsals were so stimulating and the singers are sounding grand, in just four weeks.    So I gave them a new piece, (the mother of all pieces)    Christmas Goes Classical.   What a blast!   We are going to have fun with that.

    And the singers are learning so much about vocal production.   We had a bass at Potomac Academy, Jed Duvall, who discovered a whole new voice.   We were all cheering.  And only after Michael Winter, Potomac baritone, exclaimed  "spend the money."   It would be hard to explain,  but boy, did it work!   

    Today is our first Encore Singers performance at Brighton Gardens on Tuckerman Lane, under the brilliant direction of Linda Maguire.   The singers are so excited and their program is challenging and fun.   I am really looking forward to hearing and seeing them perform.

    Gotta go sing!!!

  • The Big Six-Oh!

    60Today I am 60 years old!  Wow!  How in the world did that happen?  When I sit back and think about it,  I have packed a lot into those 60 years.  Two fabulous daughters, a fabulous husband, a truly exciting Encore nonprofit, etc. etc.  But the best years are yet to come...

    The day started when I got up at 5:30am to a Happy Birthday song from my dear husband.  I made coffee as the Beatles' Birthday screamed in the background.  We danced, acted like kids, and then he told me to go down and check my email - and stay down until he called for me.  I thought maybe he was going to drive a new car into my parking space. Laughing My dear, dear Volvo has 264,000 miles.  But in a few minutes I was summoned upstairs and there were 60 cupcakes and one chocolate mocha cupcake (with candle) from the Cupcake Shop, just for me. He said he decided that, instead of a cake with 60 candles, he'd give me 60 cakes with one candle (plus one cake for luck). Larry is very clever!  I loved it.  And then there was the little box, wrapped perfectly with a beautiful bow.  An incredible ring that I have had my eye on!  I guess 60 years bring a very nice present.

    Larry left for work, and I watched over the Bay as the sun started to paint the sky beautiful reds and oranges and pinks.  A heron landed in the marsh, the geese were flying, and finally the sun made a grand appearance.  What a day already, and it was only 7am!

    I am one lucky lady.

    Happy Birthday to Me!

    3:30pm Update

    j_bday_myerbergI took all the cupcakes up to the Myerberg Encore Chorale this morning. We had a fabulous rehearsal - and we snagged another great tenor. This group is really cooking!  After the rehearsal was over, I told them it was my birthday and got out the cupcakes. 40 cupcakes down and 20 to go!  Some of us decided to kneel or sit for the picture on the left - and, quite amazingly at our age, we all got back up!

  • A Tragedy at Goodwin House

    gha_betty_gail_elliott-2There is a book out there entitled Why Bad Things Happen to Good People but I doubt it could explain the pain I am feeling. Today the Goodwin House Alexandria Encore Chorale suffered a huge blow. Three of our wonderful singers were involved in a car accident yesterday afternoon. Betty Gail Elliott was killed, her sister Edith is in critical condition, and Peggy Trotter, thankfully, was released from the hospital today.

    The Goodwin House Alexandria rehearses on Friday so this morning we all learned the horrible news together. It is one thing to die of natural causes, but it is entirely a different thing to be killed. I can't make any sense out of this. We all are grieving. These women were all so vibrant. Betty Gail was such an integral part of the Goodwin community. She made a huge difference. She was always positive. She helped me with the music library and she put up posters for our concerts. She took such good care of her sister Edith. And she was a long time and dear friend to Peggy. I knew all three for the past ten years.

    The Goodwin House Alexandria Encore Chorale decided the best thing to do was to carry on with our rehearsal. And sing they did! Music took us to another place where we all could find peace and comfort.

    Please keep these three Encore singers in your thoughts. I would really appreciate that.