New Header Banner 2017b


  • The World of Creativity and Aging Has Lost Its Pioneer

    This morning I learned that the world of aging and creativity - and the entire world - has lost a true genius and a gentleman.   Dr. Gene Cohen lost his long and courageous battle with prostate cancer.  Gene profoundly changed the direction of my music career.   In 2001, he invited me to lead the music portion of the Creativity and Aging Study that he was doing with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. It truly became the landmark study that altered how we all think of the arts and aging.  My participation in the study allowed me to enter an area of music that has made a difference in so many lives.  It was because of him and his incredible guidance that Encore Creativity for Older Adults came into existence.

    Gene and I communicated frequently and I know he was so proud of the work Encore is doing locally and nationally.  I will never be able to thank him enough for his support, guidance and unrelenting enthusiasm.  

    I will miss him greatly.

     

  • Jed Duvall, Director

    Encore is most pleased to announce the appointment of Jed Duvall to the Board of Directors.  jed_duvall_photoJed is a freelance broadcast news correspondent, producer, editor and writer with 34 years experience in network and local television and radio, including foreign and domestic hard news and feature coverage. Duvall worked as Nightlinecorrespondent and Morning Newsanchor for ABC News in Washington from 1983 to 1991. During his tenure at CBS News from 1967 to 1982, Duvall served as a correspondent in Saigon, Atlanta, and Washington, worked as the "cover story" correspondent onSunday Morning,and covered the White House during the Carter and Reagan presidencies. He worked as a freelance correspondent for CNN from 1994 to 1995. He began his career as a news director, producer, and reporter at WBAL-TV in Baltimore.

  • The Snowbirds are Passing Through

    JK_Boat_042509You can tell it's fall. There are lots of large sailboats and motor yachts coming into the marina near our house. They are heading south for the winter to the Caribbean and points beyond and they make a stop in Tracys Landing for the evening. I stand at our window watching and dream about our plans to do some long term cruising in about six years. I have been reading the cruising log of one of our Goodwin House Alexandria singers. Charles Hanzlik and his wife Ruth did a lot of cruising in their sailing life. The log is fabulous. I have had a hard time putting it down. They cruised down the Intra Coastal Waterway (ICW) many times on their way to the islands. One of the logs is from a trip they took to the Island of Corsica. They flew over and then leased a sailboat for three weeks and sailed around the island of Corsica. AHHHHHH!

    Encore rehearsals are now going at a breakneck pace. I wonder how many times the singers hear me say, "watch me." I am sure they have lost count. But it is working! The notes are almost all there. Now it is time for polishing and being able to have lots of fun performing. That's what it is all about. It truly takes about 15 weeks to get ready for concerts. Christmas Goes Classical has been a bear to learn but it will definitely be a show stopper.

    Off to Smithsonian Encore Chorale rehearsal. I have wonderful and eager 80 singers awaiting!

  • Laurel Lake Hosts First Choral Workshop

    Encore Executive Director Jeanne Kelly traveled in November to Hudson, Ohio to conduct a vocal workshop at Encore's first Affiliate Chorale location, Laurel Lake Retirement Community, hosted by Donna Anderson, the Laurel Lake Encore Chorale Conductor. Forty energetic and excellent singers were in attendance.  Most of the singers were members of the Laurel Lake Encore Chorale, but the event also attracted singers age 55-plus from around the area.

    The day started with registration and coffee & danish - and then the music began! Jeanne spent the first hour discussing vocal technique and how to make singing more comfortable and enjoyable. Next she introduced the singers to a selection of new choral repertoire they had never sung before.  Their sight reading skills were excellent and the sound they produced was full and rich.

    After working hard all morning, lunch was served and the singers had the opportunity to visit and talk about their singing experiences.  They also began to build a consensus to take a "road trip" to Washington, DC next year to perform with the DC area chorales.

    After lunch, it was time to resume singing. The group continued to plow through the challenging repertoire. By 2:30, the group was ready to put on a short concert program for some of the Laurel Lake residents who had gathered to observe the workshop.  It was a fun day to conclude a great day of learning and singing.

    TO VIEW PHOTO SLIDE SHOW CLICK ON ANY PHOTO THEN CLICK ON RIGHT SIDE OF PHOTO TO ADVANCE TO THE NEXT

     

  • The World of Creativity and Aging Has Lost Its Pioneer

    gene_cohenThis morning I learned that the world of aging and creativity - and the entire world - has lost a true genius and a gentleman.   Dr. Gene Cohen lost his long and courageous battle with prostate cancer.  Gene profoundly changed the direction of my music career.   In 2001, he invited me to lead the music portion of the Creativity and Aging Study that he was doing with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. It truly became the landmark study that altered how we all think of the arts and aging.  My participation in the study allowed me to enter an area of music that has made a difference in so many lives.  It was because of him and his incredible guidance that Encore Creativity for Older Adults came into existence.

    Gene and I communicated frequently and I know he was so proud of the work Encore is doing locally and nationally.  I will never be able to thank him enough for his support, guidance and unrelenting enthusiasm.

    I will miss him greatly.

  • Road Trip!

    03-ll_2009novThis past weekend Larry and I drove to Hudson, Ohio where I did a choral workshop for our Laurel Lake Affiliate Encore Chorale. What a great day! The singers were so quick in learning new music and we plowed through about ten pieces in six hours. We did a lot of work on vocal technique. The attentive and talented singers really were great to work with. And their very talented and much loved conductor, Donna Anderson, was singing in the soprano section. She isn't 55, but we let her sing anyway. Wink The chorus really produced a marvelous sound. (See more about the workshop and photo slide show here.)

    And when we returned home, I already had some emails of thanks from the singers at the workshop. They said they hoped to see me at the Encore Chorale Camp in Chautauqua next summer. Chautauqua is only about two hours away from Hudson.

    Speaking of the summer camps, we already have registrations!  One each for Chautauqua and St. Mary's came in over the weekend.  Now that's the kind of advance planning I like!

    Yesterday was a glorious day - seventy two degrees and sunny. Finally no rain or high wind! Actually, as it turned out, there was no wind!  We went out on the bay aboard Cantabile and tried to sail for awhile, then gave up and turned on the engine. But it felt so good to be out on the bay.  But all good things must come to an end. It was a fluke to have that weather in mid-November and cold weather will be here soon. So yes, we took the sails off Cantabile and we will take them into the sail maker for inspection and cleaning. I feel like a limb is missing! Not sailing is like not being able to sing. So singers.......... Make me happy this week and sing really well!

  • Encore Welcomes Two New Board Members

    Encore is most pleased to announce the appointment of two new members to the Board of Directors.  Encore Executive Director, Jeanne Kelly, announced the appointment of Jed Duvall and Denise Spangler-Zechman saying, "Jed and Denise have a passion for music, for Encore, and the belief that Encore has no limits.  With their help and guidance, Encore will continue to move closer to our vision of providing professional artistic programs to older adults across the United States."

    jed_duvall_photoJed Duvall is a freelance broadcast news correspondent, producer, editor and writer with 34 years experience in network and local television and radio, including foreign and domestic hard news and feature coverage. Duvall worked as Nightlinecorrespondent and Morning Newsanchor for ABC News in Washington from 1983 to 1991. During his tenure at CBS News from 1967 to 1982, Duvall served as a correspondent in Saigon, Atlanta, and Washington, worked as the "cover story" correspondent onSunday Morning,and covered the White House during the Carter and Reagan presidencies. He worked as a freelance correspondent for CNN from 1994 to 1995. He began his career as a news director, producer, and reporter at WBAL-TV in Baltimore.

    denise_zechman_photoDenise Spangler-Zechman is a retired music teacher, free lance soloist of classical and oratorio literature and choral conductor.  Ms. Zechman taught choral music in grades 5-8 at Norton Middle School in Norton, Ohio.  During her tenure there, she directed 6th, 7th and 8th grade choirs and focused on training the “changing voice”.  Her husband’s career moves in health care took her to Birmingham, Al. where she sang under the direction of Dr. Hugh Thomas of Birmingham-Southern College.  In Pittsburgh, Pa. she studied voice with Beatrice Krebs of Carnegie-Mellon University and sang under the direction of Donald Wilkins in the Pittsburgh Oratorio Society.  She was the director of children’s choirs and assistant director of music at the Ingomar United Methodist Church in Pittsburgh, Pa and was soprano soloist in Oratorios performed in the area.  15 years ago, her husband, Edwin (Ned) Zechman  became the president/CEO of Children’s National Medical Center and Denise and their 2 children followed.  Ms. Zechman became the Associate Director of Music at Fairfax United Methodist Church where she directed the men’s chorus and helped to administrate the department of music.  Ms. Zechman studied voice with Jeanne Kelly at the Levine School of Music and continued free-lance soloing. In December of 1999, she sang the role of the mother in Gian-Carlo Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors”.

    Denise has her B.S. in Music Education from West Chester University where she studied organ with Dr. Harry Wilkinson and Voice with Ms. Lois Alt.  She received the Earl Jones Choral Conducting Scholarship and studied conducting with Ms. Jane Shepherd.  Denise has lived in Herndon, VA for 15 years with her husband, Ned.  She is the proud mother of Brad Zechman and Maegan Zechman and proud grandmother of grandson, Maxwell.

  • Encore Mourns the Passing of Dr. Gene Cohen

    cohen3Dr. Gene Cohen, whose landmark Creativity and Aging Study inspired the creation of Encore Creativity for Older Adults, died Friday after an extended battle with cancer. He was 65. Encore extends our condolences to his family. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

    The following was written by his son, Alex Cohen:

    Dr. Gene D. Cohen, 65, geriatric psychiatrist and health care pioneer, died peacefully at his Kensington, MD home surrounded by his loving family and friends after a brave, 14 year fight with prostate cancer.

    Dr. Cohen's professional career was dedicated to the long field of aging and geriatrics long before the field even existed.  After graduating from Harvard College and Georgetown University School of Medicine, Dr. Cohen began shaping the field of geriatrics through his work at the National Institute of Mental Health in the early 1970s.  Here he was the first Chief of the Center on Aging and Director of the Program on Aging.  At the time, this was the first federally supported national center on mental health and aging established internationally.  When Dr. Cohen arrived only one specialty program in geriatric psychiatry existed, and when he left there were dozens.  Also during these early years at NIMH, Dr. Cohen took interest in minorities--encouraging and supporting research on the mental health of the impoverished and homeless and led the charge to change Medicare to allow for reimbursement of mental health services (beyond the original annual $250 limit).  Dr. Cohen continued his commitment to biological, psychological and social issues in geriatric medicine at the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health where he served as Acting Director and helped grow the institute budget into the $100s of millions and catapult the field of aging into the global spotlight.  During Dr. Cohen's tenure, NIA grew at the greatest rate of all the Institutes at NIH.

    Dr. Cohen's contributions to geriatric medicine are limitless.  He authored over 150 publications in the field of aging including several edited text books and individually authored books including, The Creative Age: Awakening the Human Potential in the Second Half of Life published in 2000 and most recently, The Mature Mind: The Positive Power of the Aging Brain.  The former is widely considered the groundbreaking book on creativity and aging--effectively launching this new field within geriatrics.  Additionally, Dr. Cohen was a founding member of both the American Psychiatric Association Council on Aging as well as its Chair and the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry in addition to being the founding editor for both of the leading journals in geriatric psychiatry--International Psychogeriatrics and the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.  Dr. Cohen's research and work contributed significantly to the AARP's growing focus on mental health and aging and their evolving policy direction in this regard.

    Since 1994, Dr. Cohen has acted at the first director of the Center on Aging, Health & Humanities at George Washington University where he held the positions of Professor of Health Care Sciences and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.  His recent work and research focused primarily on creativity and the potential of older adults including a landmark longitudinal study (principally funded by the National Endowment for the Arts) proving that engagement in professionally conducted arts programs by older adults led to significant health benefits.  As he did in the 1970s, Dr. Cohen led this growing field, and now, through a close partnership with The National Center for Creative Aging which has newly affiliated with the Center he founded at George Washington University, his work will continue to flourish and evolve in this dynamic field of geriatrics--creativity and aging.

    Dr. Cohen's professional interests were also reflected in his personal life and hobbies.  As a blossoming game inventor after age 50 and continuing through to the end of his life, Dr. Cohen showed first hand that creativity and untapped potential are possible for older adults.  His most recent game, Making Memories Together, is one that assists families and caregivers of Alzheimer's disease patients.

    Throughout Dr. Cohen's career he was highly respected for his vision, generosity and absolute commitment to the field of aging and improving the health of older persons.  Dr. Cohen's contribution as a scholar, physician, educator and pioneer in the field of geriatric medicine will resonate for many generations to come.

    Dr. Cohen leaves behind, a wife, Wendy Miller, and daughter, Eliana Miller-Cohen, both of Kensington, MD, brother Joel Cohen of Hayward, CA, son, Alex Cohen and daughter-in-law Kate Cohen, both of Lincolnville, ME and four grandchildren, Ruby, Lucy, Ethan, and Bennett Cohen.

    Memorial donations can be made to the Gene D. Cohen, M.D., Ph.D. Research Award.