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  • Encore Chorale Coming to IONA!

    iona_encore_chorale_fall_2009_flier
  • Encore Singers Debut at Brighton Gardens

    bg_photoBrighton Gardens Assisted Living Community at Tuckerman Lane in Bethesda. This Brighton Gardens truly believes that arts programs directed by a talented professional can make a huge difference in the lives of aging adults. This new program is called Encore Singers and Encore has about 20 very excited singers involved in the program. It is led by Linda McGuire, a wonderful mezzo soprano and musician who has worked with the aging population for many years. The Brighton Gardens Encore Singers meet every Monday at 1:30pm and they are working on a patriotic medley and beautiful songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein. Every week more singers gather for the fun. Even the resdient caged birds love it! They chirped so loudly that Linda had to cover their cage! Everyone is having a great experience and Encore is pleased to be a part of this. Encore's goal is to present them in a concert at the end of the summer. They will be ready!

  • Laurel Lake Encore Chorale Performs for Packed House

    ll_may09_01The Laurel Lake Encore Chorale sang its Spring Concert for a hugely appreciative audience at Laurel Lake on Thursday night, May 26.

    Rain threatened to put a damper on things, but by show time, the clouds had rolled away and hundreds of people streamed in to fill every seat in the Community Center. Those who couldn't get seats opted to watch the concert on closed circuit TV in the Laurel Lake Pub.

    Our singers delivered a truly spirited performance! Opening with It's A Grand Night for Singing from State Fair and a lush arrangement of Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz, the choir transitioned into a collection of sacred songs featuring Idyll of Praise and Brother James's Air.

    Next came a delightful mix of show tunes, spirituals and American folk songs. The choir's blend was superb for Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffany's. Snare drummer Jill Rango and floutists Amy Hartman and Kristen Johnson provided a revolutionary "pipe and drum" cadence for The Staff of Faith, and Howard Helvey's demanding Ev'ry Time I Feel the Spirit left the singers victorious but breathless! The choir sang Celebration! (a spirited romp through folk tunes Skip to My Lou, Polly Wolly Doodle, O Susannah, Old Dan Tucker, and Camptown Races) and Saints Bound for Heaven with gusto. The room positively RANG with that final chord of Saints!

    As an encore, the performers delivered a surprise to the audience - the chance to sing You Are My Sunshine with the Chorale in glorious barbershop harmony, complete with jaunty syncopation by our drummer.

    We were excited to welcome Dr. Frank Jacobs, artistic director of the Summit Choral Society and Laura Musarra, the organization's manager, for the performance. Laurel Lake and Encore hope to partner with SCS and other arts organizations to expand choral performance opportunities for older adults in Northeast Ohio.

    Several Laurel Lakers and I are driving over for the Chorale Camp closing concert at Chautauqua in September -- hope to meet many of you then!

    Donna Anderson, Director

    CLICK ON ANY PICTURE BELOW TO LAUNCH SLIDE SHOW THEN CLICK ON RIGHT SIDE OF PHOTO TO ADVANCE TO NEXT

     

  • Encore Coming to Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center!

    schweinhaut encore chorale  fall 2009 flier
  • Laurel Lake Encore Chorale Performs for Packed House

    Laurel Lake Chorale Performs for Packed House

    ll_may09_01

    The Laurel Lake Encore Chorale sang its Spring Concert for a hugely appreciative audience at Laurel Lake on Thursday night, May 26.

    Rain threatened to put a damper on things, but by show time, the clouds had rolled away and hundreds of people streamed in to fill every seat in the Community Center. Those who couldn't get seats opted to watch the concert on closed circuit TV in the Laurel Lake Pub.

    Our singers delivered a truly spirited performance! Opening with It's A Grand Night for Singing from State Fair and a lush arrangement of Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz, the choir transitioned into a collection of sacred songs featuring Idyll of Praise and Brother James's Air.

    Next came a delightful mix of show tunes, spirituals and American folk songs. The choir's blend was superb for Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffany's. Snare drummer Jill Rango and floutists Amy Hartman and Kristen Johnson provided a revolutionary "pipe and drum" cadence for The Staff of Faith, and Howard Helvey's demanding Ev'ry Time I Feel the Spirit left the singers victorious but breathless! The choir sang Celebration! (a spirited romp through folk tunes Skip to My Lou, Polly Wolly Doodle, O Susannah, Old Dan Tucker, and Camptown Races) and Saints Bound for Heaven with gusto. The room positively RANG with that final chord of Saints!

    As an encore, the performers delivered a surprise to the audience - the chance to sing You Are My Sunshine with the Chorale in glorious barbershop harmony, complete with jaunty syncopation by our drummer.

    We were excited to welcome Dr. Frank Jacobs, artistic director of the Summit Choral Society and Laura Musarra, the organization's manager, for the performance. Laurel Lake and Encore hope to partner with SCS and other arts organizations to expand choral performance opportunities for older adults in Northeast Ohio.

    NOTE: Encore Laurel Lake is planning for its next season, set to begin on September 8, 2009.  Call Donna Andersonat 330-655-1436 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more details or to join the Chorale.

  • A Family Affair!

    JK_Boat_042509I did something today I have not done in many many years.   I sat out in my screened in porch with my cats Spencer and Spicy and I read a book!  Unbelievable!  I never take the time in the middle of the day to do something for myself.  It was so nice.  And when I finish this blog that my husband has been bugging me for,  I will go back out on the porch and finish the book. Ah summer!

    Sunday was a lovely day......beautiful weather and two marvelous concerts.    The first concert featured the West Shore Piano Trio which included our daughter Heather, violin.  They played a concert in a private home in Davidsonville, MD.   The space was beautiful.  They had their very own concert hall.  And the trio played with such passion and musicality.  Their repertoire included Beethoven's Piano Trio in D Major Opus 70 #1, Rebecca Clarke's Piano Trio, and Debussy's Piano Trio in G Major.  It is such a great experience to sit back and listen to my daughter.  She is incredible.

    And then I went to the Dance Place in Washington DC to see my daughter Tiffany's most major choreography of her dance career.   It's called Unsung and she was inspired to create this dance by the soldiers who fought in the Iraq War.  Although her inspiration is specifically the Iraq War, she sought to tell a timeless and universal story, one that belongs to any war and any soldier.   This 40 minute piece was absolutely riveting.  Her dancers were so passionate and the story was so clear and moving.  The audience loved it.

    So I was a very proud mom this Sunday.   It  is such a great feeling to know that all their hard work and many hours of practice pay off.  

    They are also both involved in Encore.    Tiffany teaches dance and movement for Encore and she teaches at Encore Chorale Camp at St. Mary's College of Maryland.   Heather's West Shore Piano Trio will be performing at both the St. Mary's and Chautauqua Encore Chorale Camps.    And of course, Encore would not be possible without the generosity of many hours given by my husband, Larry.  So it is truly a family affair!  
  • A Busy Summer Is About to Get Underway!

    JK_Boat_042509It is a very rainy and dreary Friday morning here in the Encore office, but my spirits are soaring high knowing that our Encore Chorale Camp at St. Mary's College of Maryland is right around the corner.  We have forty very happy campers ready to charge into the St. Mary's Campus.  All the music is in the hands of these fearless and great singers and we are ready to go.  Today I will be assigning dorm suites to the campers, making name tags and finalizing the catering details.  Camp will be bigger and better than last year, and I thought last year was going to be hard to top.  Our guest conductor, Barry Hemphill, conductor of the Metropolitan Chorus of Arlington, is very excited to be working with Encore.  I will be preparing the chorus on the first two days of camp and then Barry will come in and polish things off.  I will then become the camp accompanist.  Our movement/dance instructor has some great moves planned for our campers.  She better, because we all ate too much of that excellent St. Mary's College food last year, and I know we will need some good workouts to keep us in shape.  I can't wait for camp!

    On Wednesday, Larry and I hosted a get together at our home for the singers going on the Queen Mary 2 Singing at Sea Cruise.  We had such a wonderful time getting to know one another.  It is a great group of folks.  We gathered bayside to listen to Christine Moore, travel coordinator and Encore soprano, tell us of last minute details for the cruise.  Then we took a walk down the dock to ooh and ahh at all the gorgeous boats in our creek and out on the bay.  After our stroll, we went in and sang through all the music we will be performing on the cruise.  The singers will be performing in the Queen's Lounge on the final day of the cruise.  Very elegant!  A lifetime experience.  So we better be pretty darn good!  And we will be!!

    Everyone brought a dish to share and the food was wonderful.  We were practicing eating, because we are going to be doing a lot of fancy eating on board. J  It was a great day for Encore.  We'll be casting off from the New York City pier exactly one month from tomorrow.   Larry and I have never been on a cruise - other than our own boat - so are really looking forward to it.

    I better close, because my big boy kitty Spencer is on my lap and he is trying to help me type this blog.  I guess he wants my undivided attention.  He knows he is not going on the cruise and he is not happy!  I was going to talk about our Encore Chorale Camp at Chautauqua, but that will have to wait.  When Spencer wants attention, he gets attention!

  • Laurel Lake Encore Chorale Performs for Packed House

    ll_may09_01The Laurel Lake Encore Chorale sang its Spring Concert for a hugely appreciative audience at Laurel Lake on Thursday night, May 26.

    Rain threatened to put a damper on things, but by show time, the clouds had rolled away and hundreds of people streamed in to fill every seat in the Community Center. Those who couldn't get seats opted to watch the concert on closed circuit TV in the Laurel Lake Pub.

    Our singers delivered a truly spirited performance! Opening with It's A Grand Night for Singing from State Fair and a lush arrangement of Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz, the choir transitioned into a collection of sacred songs featuring Idyll of Praise and Brother James's Air.

    Next came a delightful mix of show tunes, spirituals and American folk songs. The choir's blend was superb for Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffany's. Snare drummer Jill Rango and floutists Amy Hartman and Kristen Johnson provided a revolutionary "pipe and drum" cadence for The Staff of Faith, and Howard Helvey's demanding Ev'ry Time I Feel the Spirit left the singers victorious but breathless! The choir sang Celebration! (a spirited romp through folk tunes Skip to My Lou, Polly Wolly Doodle, O Susannah, Old Dan Tucker, and Camptown Races) and Saints Bound for Heaven with gusto. The room positively RANG with that final chord of Saints!

    As an encore, the performers delivered a surprise to the audience - the chance to sing You Are My Sunshine with the Chorale in glorious barbershop harmony, complete with jaunty syncopation by our drummer.

    We were excited to welcome Dr. Frank Jacobs, artistic director of the Summit Choral Society and Laura Musarra, the organization's manager, for the performance. Laurel Lake and Encore hope to partner with SCS and other arts organizations to expand choral performance opportunities for older adults in Northeast Ohio.

    Several Laurel Lakers and I are driving over for the Chorale Camp closing concert at Chautauqua in September -- hope to meet many of you then!

    Donna Anderson, Director

  • Next Stop: St. Mary's College!

    05 st marys campIt's a little crazy in the office today.   Lots of last minute details for the start of our Encore Chorale Camp at St. Mary's College of Maryland which begins... tomorrow!     Forty happy campers are ready to have a blast at camp and Encore is ready for them.  Room assignments are made, name tags are ready, cool purple Encore Chorale Camp tee shirts are packed, music has been sent to every camper, catered meals are all set, the professional musicians are ready to wow us with fabulous evening concerts and the conductors Barry Hemphill and myself are very excited to be working with such great singers.  Am I missing anything???  Hope not.  We're ready!!

  • St. Mary's Camp - Another Encore Success!

     

    Encore Chorale Camp at St. Mary’s College of Maryland was a huge success.  Encore had 39 “happy campers,” ages 55 to 88 years of age and they all had a fabulous five days.  The singers checked in on Tuesday at noon and were raring to rehearse at 3pm sharp.  Encore Executive Director, Jeanne Kelly, was in charge of preparing the singers for when Barry Hemphill, conductor of the Arlington Metropolitan Chorus was to arrive for the 10am Thursday rehearsal.  The singers worked very hard that first day.   They rehearsed for two hours and then all gathered for a “meet and greet” cocktail and then a great Southern Maryland buffet of chicken, ribs, clams and mussels,  and all the fixings including decadent peach and blueberry cobbler with ice cream, all provided by St. Mary’s College’s excellent catering service, Bon Appetit.  Campers were then treated to a fabulous concert by the West Shore Piano Trio, including Jay DeWire, piano; Heather Haughn, violin; and Diana Flesner, cello.  Their repertoire included the beautiful Debussy Piano Trio in G Major and the Rebecca Clarke Piano Trio.  It was an excellent ending to an exciting first day of camp.  The campers all slept well!

    aaimg_1347The second day started with a big breakfast in the college dining hall, followed by a movement/dance class led by dance instructor Tiffany Haughn.  The singers loved this daily class.  The meditation, stretching and learning different dance forms was fun for everyone.  Choral rehearsal followed and the singers were really concentrating on learning all the intricacies of the music.  They had all worked up quite an appetite by lunch.  The afternoon included a sectional rehearsal followed by another full choral rehearsal.  The group was getting closer to mastering the repertoire and all were having a great time doing it.  Wednesday evening, everyone gathered in the dining hall for more delicious food.  After dinner they were treated to a superb recital by Heather Haughn, violin, and Jay DeWire, piano.  The repertoire included the Brahms Violin Sonata and Porgy and Bess for violin arranged by Heifetz.  What a recital!    Time for another good night of sleep.  It was another busy day!

  • Encore Singers Debut at Brighton Gardens

    bg_photoBrighton Gardens Assisted Living Community at Tuckerman Lane in Bethesda. This Brighton Gardens truly believes that arts programs directed by a talented professional can make a huge difference in the lives of aging adults. This new program is called Encore Singers and Encore has about 20 very excited singers involved in the program. It is led by Linda McGuire, a wonderful mezzo soprano and musician who has worked with the aging population for many years. The Brighton Gardens Encore Singers meet every Monday at 1:30pm and they are working on a patriotic medley and beautiful songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein. Every week more singers gather for the fun. Even the resdient caged birds love it! They chirped so loudly that Linda had to cover their cage! Everyone is having a great experience and Encore is pleased to be a part of this. Encore's goal is to present them in a concert at the end of the summer. They will be ready!

  • St. Mary's Camp - Wow!

    aaimg_1528It is Monday, June 22 and I miss my Encore Chorale Camp at St. Mary's College of Maryland campers! We had such a wonderful and productive five days (READ FULL REPORT HERE). I woke up this morning to glowing emails from the campers. I couldn't be more pleased. I always get nervous about camp. I want everyone to be happy and have whatever they need. It is my job to see that everything is as perfect as it can be. Camp is a huge undertaking and somehow, it happens. And it happened beautifully. Sure, we had some glitches, like some bugs in a room (this was quickly fixed), and keys that didn't work and rain that wouldn't stop. But when the final note of the concert sounded, I felt like the singers were very happy, confident and glad they came to camp. I am already thinking about next year. Now that's crazy!

    I was reading the Washington Post this morning and my horoscope for Libra says: "Maybe it's your busy schedule or that you've realized the degree to which people are relying on you, but you're a tad stressed out. Live as though your sole purpose on Earth is to enjoy it." Well, I sure do feel stressed, but I am incredibly blessed to be doing what I doing. I take providing the best arts program for Encore participants very seriously. I have the support and fabulous talent of my marvelous family. Yep, I am a happy camper!

    Now on to the Queen Mary 2© cruise that leaves two weeks from today with 21 lucky Encore singers. I can't even imagine how fabulous this cruise will be. Most of the singers have met and we have gone over the music. They all have their rehearsal CDs and they will be ready to rehearse and wow the QM2 passengers with a wonderful concert the last day of the cruise. We are all so excited. All I need is a swim suit and I am good to go. Smile

    Gotta go. I need to get all the PR out for the fall chorales. And, and, and, and.......................................................

  • It's True: ANYONE Can Sing!

    JK_Boat_042509Did you ever try to teach your husband to sing???  It's about as much fun as....................................................?  I can't even come up with a good analogy.  I must say I had plenty of patience.  In fact, I had a lot more patience than he has when it comes to my lack of computer knowledge.  He says it's because I am a true teacher and he's not.  Whatever.  It sure was interesting, and I must say, the guy has talent!  Actually, it was fun.

    First of all, he has a very nice baritone voice.  He just never knew it.  Now how could he live with me and not know his strengths in singing?  Because I sing and he cooks.  Division of labor.  We never really crossed paths until I knew I had to get him ready to sing with the other Encore singers on the QM2 cruise.  Yes, Larry will be singing baritone and he WILL know the music.  Can you imagine living with your conductor?  I promised I would not single him out in rehearsals. Wink

    As far as reading music goes, he caught on rather quickly.  I said simply, "read it like a graph" and he did.  And on the page turns, I suggested he have an arrow up or down and he would know which way he was going before he turned the page.  I was impressed.  He was intimidated.  Maybe that is why he pretty much listened!  Men listening!  What next?  WOW!  Now when he decides not to listen to me in a conversation, I'll just launch into a voice lesson. Surprised  That will do it!

    Only five more days until we board the QM2 and begin our Singing at Sea Journey.  We are so excited.  I have my evening dresses ready and he is still on a diet to fit into his tux.  Five days of pure elegance.  A memorable experience, I'm sure!

    I just finalized ordering all the holiday music.  Beautiful and fun music awaits the Encore singers.  This year, with the new chorales at Schweinhaut in Silver Spring, Anne Arundel Community College near Annapolis, and IONA in D.C., we should have a fabulous sound when everyone comes together for the concerts.  I am really looking forward to meeting all the new singers and of course welcoming back all my returning Encore Chorale singers.  I keep saying this, but I really do have a great job!

    I probably will not have another chance to write before I leave.  We are sailing our beloved Cantabile over the July 4th weekend, sailing to Tilghman Island and either St. Michaels or Oxford.  Then we come back to do laundry, get all the plants watered, talk to Spencer and Spicy about behaving themselves for the kittysitter, and finally pack for the cruise (full report upon my return)!

    Bon Voyage everyone!