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  • Encore Singers Add to Holiday Cheer

    Brighton Gardens Tuckerman Lane had its annual holiday party on Saturday, December 5th and the Encore Singers, under the direction of Linda Maguire, were on hand to add music to the festivities. Click on any photo below to launch slide show, then click on right side of photo to advance to next.

    {gallery}BGTL_Hol_2009{/gallery}

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  • Kennedy Center Concert: Best Ever!

    2-kc2009What a spectacular concert the Encore Chorales gave last night at the Kennedy Center. All 200 singers really gave their all. I thought I would lose my mind trying to seat them in the perfect formation that would allow for the best sound and blend. That is a very tricky place to perform. It is long and narrow and I just couldn't get it right. The singers were so patient and professional, as I moved them around for the third time! But finally we got it right and they performed so beautifully. And such energy. The huge audience loved them! We have never had such a large audience.

    The Kennedy Center is magnificent. All red and festive and Christmas with beautiful trees. Just walking in gives you energy. We all went home happy and tired. I was so excited about having a drink when I got home and instead I crashed! Happily. My work was done and it was a fabulous day! Three more concerts to go! But then there is that nasty little four letter word that begins with S in the forecast for Saturday. That would truly set me in a crazy state. I am not even going to think about that.

    Onward to our Schweinhaut concert tomorrow. I'm taking a nap!

  • KC Millennium Performances

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  • KC Millennium 2009 Broadcast

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  • Laurel Lake Holiday Concert 2009

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  • Going Cruisin'!

    80.celebrity_mercury_at_cabo_san_lucas_4I was looking out at the bay early, very early, this morning and it looked so gorgeous, but cold! The wind is howling here and the bay is confused. Big waves! Hmmmmmmmmm...................in a few days we will be cruising down this very bay on the Celebrity Cruise Ship Mercury and it looks like we will be doing our Bon Voyage departure in the snow. And the temps going south will take quite a while to warm up. But I am sure we will all be cozy, warm and delightfully happy on board. We will cruise right past our home! Larry said he will be flashing a light. Poor guy isn't going. He is trying to save lots of vacation hours so we can cruise for two weeks on our "Cantabile." That is the best vacation in the world. So he will stay home and keep the kitties fed and happy and keep Encore going.

    I wish you all a very happy and healthy and musical New Year. I will be thinking of you down in the blue waters of the Bahamas, while you are up here shoveling the predicted snow. I have a great job!

  • Holiday Concert December 21st

    holiday-concertThe Laurel Lake Encore Chorale and Ensembelle  presented a holiday at Laurel Lake Retirement Community, 200 Laurel Lake Drive in Hudson, Dec. 21, 2010.

    The Encore Chorale features 50 singers age 55 and older from Hudson, Cuyahoga Falls, Twinsburg and neighboring cities, and is the first National Affiliate of Encore Creativity for Older Adults.

    Ensembelle, a handbell quartet from the First United Methodist Church of Cuyahoga Falls, rings on four octaves of Schumerlich bells and has performed widely throughout the Greater Akron area.

    The concert offered new works like Nicholas Myer's "The Winter's Night"; favorites such as the traditional French carol "What Is This Lovely Fragrance?" by Hal Hopson, "Go Tell It On The Mountain" by Howard Helvey, "Do You Hear What I Hear?" by Harry Simeone and "Carol of the Bells" by Charles Maggs; and popular songs with Sammy Cahn's "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!," Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" and James Eliot's "Over the River and Through the Woods."  Ensembelle, a handbell quartet from the First United Methodist Church of Cuyahoga Falls, also performed, ringing on four octaves of Schumerlich bells.

    Audience members were invited to join the Chorale for light refreshments following the concert.

  • Much to Be Thankful For!

    JK_Boat_042509I had so much to give thanks for on Thanksgiving............and the day after.   We spent the day with family in Yardley, PA.   It was a wonderful day of visiting and great food.  I woke up the next morning at 5am, my usual, and my normal start to the day of making coffee and feeding the kitties was missing.   And I need my coffee!  So I set out in the car to go downtown Yardley, a lovely little and very old town on the banks of the Delaware River in Bucks County.   As I was driving down the hill into town I noticed a very old man, slumped over, dragging his coat and  walking down the street at 6am....in the cold.   I went into Starbucks for my much needed coffee and some quiet time to read.   The gentleman came into Starbucks and I said hello and it was clear he was a little confused.  The staff asked if they could get him anything and he said he had no money.  I decided to buy him coffee and sat him down.  He couldn't even tell me his name or what he wanted in his coffee.   So I asked the staff if they had ever seen him before and they said no.  Hmmmm.  I immediately thought this dear old man was probably visiting relatives for the holiday and had awakened before anyone else and decided to take a walk and had no idea where he was staying.   I asked the staff to call the police.  I spoke with the policeman and asked him to drive the gentleman back up the hill  to see if he could possibly identify where he was staying, but I knew that was a long shot.   After about 15 minutes, the police came back to tell me he found the man's family outside looking for their loving father - grandfather and they were most grateful that he was found.   I was so happy to have  this man back with his family.   Much to be thankful for.

    It's a busy busy busy time of the year.   This is the final week of rehearsals before we embark on our nine Encore Chorale performances and two Encore Singers performances.   The chorales are ready!   And I am ready!  Courage.......confidence.........joy.........and a great feeling of accomplishment.  Some of the singers have not sung in many years and they really have learned a lot.    The first concert is on Saturday with the Smithsonian Encore Chorale performing at the Renwick Gallery Children's Christmas holiday event.  Oh yes,  we are ready!

  • A Snowy Beginning for the Holiday Concert Season

    dscf0074I woke up on Saturday, the day of our first holiday concert, and the entire DC region was under a winter storm advisory.   Oh great!  It was not suppose to start until about 11am, so I put out an email to let the Smithsonian Encore Chorale know we would be singing the concert.  Larry and I got in the car at 11am and the snow was coming down in buckets!  And it was blowing, with the snow coming down sideways.  Our luck!

    But when we arrived at the beautiful Renwick,  most of the singers had braved the snow.   They looked beautiful and handsome and were ready to perform.   I loved the excitement.   And such a gorgeous hall to sing in.

    Their performance was one of the best Encore has ever done.   The music, the singing, the smiles.....it was all fabulous.

    After the Renwick concert, Larry and I drove to Brighton Gardens on Tuckerman Lane in Bethesda, where our Encore Singers under the direction of Linda Maguire were performing for their holiday Christmas party.  They were all in blue choir robes and some of them had wrist jingle bells.   They had a great time performing for their families.  Brighton Gardens went all out for the party.   It was so good to see all the smiles.

    The holiday is here, and we have 8 more concerts.  I'm ready!!  And experience tells me they will just get better and better.  I have a great job!

  • Holiday Concerts: Past the Halfway Point

    I am constantly amazed at how excellent and professional our Encore concerts are.  The singers are so well prepared and they are confident with their skills and they are having a ball performing.  I just go around with a huge smile on my face. 

    Today is concert number six of the season and the Potomac Academy of GMU Encore Chorale will perform at the Woodlands Retirement Community.  Some of the singers from Lorton Encore Chorale will also be joining us.  We will be performing for their holiday Christmas party.  I love cookies!

    aimg_2539The American Art Museum Kogod Courtyard concert (photo on left) was awesome on Sunday.  Despite the pathetic weather....rain, rain, rain, the singers really performed.  And it's always fun to have such a large and appreciative audience.  We all really had a great time.

    I must be nuts.  Amidst all these ten Encore Chorale concerts, we are having our downstairs completely renovated.  That means walls taken down, new ceilings, walls and floor and new windows.  I feel like I am eating drywall dust.  And then there is the choosing of paint colors.  All I can think is that it has diverted my stress from the concerts to the house. Laughing

    On to the Kennedy Center tomorrow.  Two hundred singers!  No stress.  Really!

  • Come to Camp!

    01-chau2009Start your summer singing! Encore Creativity returns to St. Mary’s College of Maryland for our Third Annual Summer “Sleep Away” Choral Camp for Older Adults, June 15-19, 2010. Whether you have sung your entire life, or have not sung for quite a few years—whatever your level of experience is — you will love Encore Camp. The instructors are patient, knowledgeable and entertaining. In five days they will mold the group into a polished choral ensemble, ready to perform!

    Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to work with dynamic conductor Jeanne Kelly, founder and director of Encore Creativity for Older Adults, and other esteemed faculty.

    …Or end your summer singing! Encore’s Third Annual Camp at the famed Chautauqua Institution will be the week of August 30—September 3, 2010. As in previous years, Jeanne Kelly will share conductor responsibilities with Barry Talley, retired Director of Musical Activities at the U.S. Naval Academy.

    Download complete information brochures and registration forms here.

  • Kennedy Center Highlight of Holiday Concerts

    a-smilebox_160206873Despite the snow-induced cancellation of Encore's final two concerts of the holiday season, the nine Baltimore-Washington area chorales still managed to perform seven concerts in the first two weeks of December.  The largest and, by acclaim, the most successful performance was at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage on December 16th.  Over two hundred singers spilled out in front of the stage, pushing the standing room only crowd far down the Center's main concourse.  It certainly had to be one of the Millennium Stage's largest performances, both in terms of number of performers and size of audience.  A grand time was had by all, suitable for this grand location.

    Many thanks to Margo Hope, from the Schweinhaut Encore Chorale, for compiling a wonderful photo album of the event, as well as photos from the concert at the Schweinhaut Senior Center on the following Friday, December 18th.  View the photos by clicking here or on the photo on the left.

  • Let It Snow? No!

    aimg_2709SATURDAY EVENING UPDATE: With nearly two feet of snow on the ground here in Tracys Landing, there's no way I'll be getting out of here tomorrow.  So...with more disappointment, I announce that the Four Seasons Community Concert in Dumfries, VA is CANCELLED.

    - Jeanne Kelly

  • Myerberg & Smithsonian at the Kogod

    aimg_2501The Encore Chorales from Myerberg Senior Center and the Smithsonian Institution came together for a joint concert at the Kogod Courtyard of the Smithsonian American Art/National Portrait Gallery on Sunday, December 13th. Both chorales were at their best, putting on the best Encore concert of the holiday season to-date. Click here to go to a photo slideshow of the event.

     

  • A Grand Concert at the Renwick!

    adscf0018The Smithsonian Encore Chorale performed the first concert of the holiday concert season on Saturday, Dec. 5 at the Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC and their performance was spectacular. The Renwick hosted the Society of Decorative Painters and invited Encore to perform. The Renwick Gallery is truly one of Washington’s gems and the Grand Salon was such an impressive room to perform in.

    Washington experienced its’ first snow storm of the season and the snow was falling heavily, but most of the singers braved the harsh elements and sang a fun and entertaining concert of holiday favorites. The singers, in concert black attire, looked and sounded professional and delighted their large appreciative audience. Opening with It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, the singers were truly enjoying themselves and the applause fed the singers energy. When the chorale was performing Light the Legend, a Chanukah piece, all the lights in the hall went out (an audience member leaned against a light switch), but the singers kept on going, unflappable!

    The singers really showed their personality in Variations of Fa-La-La and the applause was thunderous.  Let It Snow Let It Snow was most appropriate for the snowy day.

    The Chorale moved on to the showpiece of the concert, Christmas Goes Classical. What a great piece! It covers many of the great classical hits, putting Christmas words to works including Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra,Wagner’s Lohengrin, Bizet’s Carmen, Wagner’s Das Rheingold, Grieg’s In the Hall of the Mountain King, and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. It is a huge piece with wonderful harmonies and great fun. The singers were in their element and the audience loved it.
    The Encore Chorale ended the concert with the beloved Hallelujah Chorus and it was an energetic and heartfelt performance.

    It was a grand event in a grand hall and a perfect start to the holiday season.

    READ MORE ABOUT THE CONCERT IN JEANNE'S BLOG

  • Kennedy Center Performance December 2009

    a-smilebox_160206873Despite the snow-induced cancellation of Encore's final two concerts of the holiday season, the nine Baltimore-Washington area chorales still managed to perform seven concerts in the first two weeks of December.  The largest and, by acclaim, the most successful performance was at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage on December 16th.  Over two hundred singers spilled out in front of the stage, pushing the standing room only crowd far down the Center's main concourse.  It certainly had to be one of the Millennium Stage's largest performances, both in terms of number of performers and size of audience.  A grand time was had by all, suitable for this grand location.

    Many thanks to Margo Hope, from the Schweinhaut Encore Chorale, for compiling a wonderful photo album of the event, as well as photos from the concert at the Schweinhaut Senior Center on the following Friday, December 18th.  View the photos by clicking here or on the photo on the left.

  • Myerberg & Smithsonian at the Kogod

    aimg_2501The Encore Chorales from Myerberg Senior Center and the Smithsonian Institution came together for a joint concert at the Kogod Courtyard of the Smithsonian American Art/National Portrait Gallery on Sunday, December 13th. Both chorales were at their best, putting on the best Encore concert of the holiday season to-date. Click on the photo below to launch a photo slideshow of the event.

    {gallery}Kogod_HC_2009{/gallery}