New Header Banner 2017b


  • Join the Newest Encore Chorale in Indiana, PA

    encore chorale indiana pa  fall 2009 flier 090809 png
  • A Tiger by the Tail!

    staff - anderson donna copy webIt's September, and the Laurel Lake Encore Chorale is off to a phenomenal start.

    The work began months ago: choosing repertoire, ordering the music, stamping and getting it into folders. Our music library has been housed on my dining room table this summer.

    The first Laurel Lake Chorale rehearsal kicked off on Tuesday September 8 over 50 singers strong -- and strong they are! We've gained 12 new members, and the group's sound is BEAUTIFULLY anchored with eight basses and six tenors. Our sopranos and altos have a marvelous tone and impressive range. Need a high G or an A? No problem.

    At the first full rehearsal, (see photos below) you could tell that everyone was thrilled to be back. The singers charged in fearlessly, sight-reading the very patriotic and lengthy "Armed Forces: The Pride of America" and Irving Berlin's "Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor" with ease. The gorgeous setting of the 23rd Psalm by Mark Hayes, "The God of Love My Shepherd Is," could have been written for this group.

    When I asked them to take out "Do You Hear What I Hear?", one of the basses immediately shot back: "Nope, hearing's shot." Everybody's a comedian.

    This holiday season the chorale will also be performing the traditional French carol, "What Is This Lovely Fragrance?" with handbells, "The Winter's Night" by Nicholas Myers, Andre Thomas' "African Noel," Howard Helvey's gospel rockin' "Go Tell It On the Mountain," Sammy Cahn's jazzy "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!", Irving Berlin's "White Christmas," John Rutter's frenetic "We Wish You A Merry Christmas," and "Light," a haunting piece from Michael Isaacson's Chanukah song cycle, Aspects of a Great Miracle.

    Whew! Looooootta work ahead. But this gang is up to the challenge. After practice, my accompanist (and mom) Ruth Anderson said, "This is really something. You've got a tiger by the tail!"

    Do we ever! Encore is growing, and so are Laurel Lake's performance opportunities. We're planning a vocal technique workshop with Jeanne Kelly in Ohio the weekend of November 14th, a combined choirs concert with the Summit Choral Society Children's Concert Choir, and more to come.

    Know anyone 55 or older in Ohio? Tell them to look us up!

    Donna Anderson

    CLICK ON ANY PHOTO BELOW TO LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY, THEN CLICK ON RIGHT SIDE OF PHOTO TO ADVANCE TO NEXT

  • Chautauqua Day 2

    JK_Boat_042509Ah Sleep, where art thou?????????????

    The geese must have been having their family reunion before they all fly off, because they were honking away last night on the lake.   Loud.....very loud.

    And then there was the snoring monster next door.   These old hotels are wonderful but they do not have the interior wall insulation that our newer hotels have.

    And then there was the fly in the room......bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    And then there were the constant notes I was getting up to write.  

    I need sleep!

    The first day of camp was marvelous.   I got everyone checked in and we met for our first rehearsal at 3pm   Barry Talley, our guest conductor and I were both impressed with the sound.   Lots of talent to work with.   We went thru all the music at break-neck speed and before you knew it, the bus was there to pick us up and take us back to the hotel for our 6pm wine and cheese and opening dinner.   But oh my, the hotel forgot the wine and cheese which I quickly fixed!    They had that wine and cheese out real quickly, but not before some of our singers mistakenly crashed another reception that was going on right near ours.   And they had big, succulent oysters on their spread!   It was like the wedding crashers.   Very funny!   

     Better get going.  A long, exciting day ahead.

  • Chautauqua Day 3

    JK_Boat_042509Camp is perfect.  All the singers are enjoying one another so much and it is pure joy to be at Chautauqua.  We have 38 happy campers, ages 55 to 94. 

    We are here in the tenth week, so there are not many people in Chautauqua.  Usually there are thousands of folks at the Institution, but we have it pretty much to ourselves, which is very nice. When we have free time, the favorite pastime is to roam the streets and look at the beautiful flower gardens and homes.  But we don't have that much free time.   

    Yesterday we started with a hearty breakfast and enjoyed movement/dance class with instructor Peg Barrett-Walos.  Fun, Fun, Fun!  Then right on to a one hour sectional and an hour rehearsal.  We got a lot accomplished and the singers worked so hard.  We had a group of women from St. James Catholic Church Choir of Sewickely, Pennsylvania looking in on our rehearsal.  They even sang with us when we rehearsed the Vivaldi Gloria.  Now they know about Encore and hopefully will join us for camp next year.

    On to lunch, and then the women had a great vocal technique class.  I truly enjoy teaching these classes with such talented and intelligent singers.  It is fun to see singers discover things about their voice they never knew.  The men followed with their technique class and that was marvelous.  Such a sound these eleven men are making. 

    Then on to another full choral rehearsal.  We are all tired by 5pm and ready for a dinner break. 

    But the day wasn't over.   Encore was pleased to present the West Shore Piano Trio in performance at Lenna Hall that evening.  We had a large audience of community folks and our campers and the trio was superb!  So very exciting to hear these musicians perform the Debussy Piano Trio and the Rebecca Clarke Piano Trio.  And of course, it is very exciting for me to present the trio because my daughter Heather is the very talented violinist.  A proud mom.

    The day was done!  All was perfect.  We sure do pack a lot into one day.  The campers were safely tucked in bed (well, some were hanging out on the porch) and I was very happy.  Three great days to go!

  • Chautauqua Day 4

    JK_Boat_042509Some of the singers have decided that Chautauqua now has an affiliate Encore Chorale...........made up of GEESE!  There are thousands of them and they are really honking.

    Yesterday was spectacular in all ways.  The weather continues to be perfect.  We are all walking and enjoying the 70 degree weather and cloudless, brilliant blue skies.

    The chorale is rehearsing so well and they are sounding better and better.  Confidence is building and their concert will be great.   The music is both beautiful, spiritual and then there is the really fun stuff.  We crack up every time we sing Television, arranged by Barry Talley, our guest conductor.  

     Last night we were wowed by violinist Heather Haughn and pianist Jay DeWire.  And again we had a large and appreciative audience.  It was thrilling to present these young artists.  Jay opened with Liszt's Liebestraume which was stunning, followed by Heather passionately playing opera arias including E Lucevan le Stelle from Tosca, Un bel di, from Butterfly and Nessun dorma from Turandot.  Three Preludes from Gershwin followed and the audience loved it.  Heather played one of my favorites - Meditation from Thais.  And Jay played one of my favorites -  Liebestod from Tristan.  I don't think I ever heard an auditorium so quiet as when he was performing.  The concert closed with Heather playing the Concert Fantasy on Carmen by Sarasate.  That is one tricky piece, and as her mom, I knew she was a little nervous because it was the first time she was performing it.  Well, when the final note sounded the audience jumped to their feet cheering.  Fantastic!  All was well.  It was so great to hear very positive comments and hearty thanks from our campers and local Chautauquans for bringing such excellent concerts to Chautauqua in the Tenth Week.  Chautauqua is pretty quiet during Tenth Week and Encore certainly livens it up.  It makes sense.  Encore is accessible and excellent  - our mission!

     It was so nice to have Jay DeWire's parents from Carlisle, PA  and also his wife Colleen's parents from Holland , Michigan visiting for the concerts.  They certainly enjoyed the entire Chautauqua experience.  A real family affair.

    Respect, reflect, renew.  These three words describe why you come to Chautauqua.  What a wonderful week for our campers and music!

  • Chautauqua Day 5: The Grand Finale!

    JK_Boat_042509Camp continues to be most pleasantly perfect.  The Chautauqua weather is simple incredible......never above 72, sunny and a lovely gentle breeze.  We all want to package it up and take it home.

    Yesterday was filled with movement/dance class, great rehearsals, voice technique classes and sectionals.  I am not sure how we pack it all in, but we do.  And we all look forward to the fabulous breakfasts, lunches and dinners they serve us daily.  We have all greatly enjoyed one another and we wish this great experience could go on.

    Last night we were rolling in the aisles with laughter at the performance of "Unexpected Guests."  They are an improv comedy group from Jamestown, New York.  They came to my attention because Mike Sullivan, Director of Public Relations for Chautauqua Institution, is part of this very entertaining ensemble.  There was much audience participation.  They would ask us to name nouns, verbs or sayings and then they would have to make sense out of them, in a very very funny way.  They had a large and very appreciative audience.  Many Chautauquans came out to see their own Mike Sullivan.  

     The last day of camp is here.  We have rehearsed hard, laughed a lot, made lasting friendships, attended great concerts, ate way too much excellent food, and enjoyed perfect weather.  Now we are ready to strut out stuff.  The concert promises to be excellent.  We have two hours to perfect our craft and then it's our turn.

    Every adult should go to camp!! 

  • The Chautauqua Afterglow

    ch2009_photo_for_blogThe final day of camp was tremendous.  We met for breakfast, had movement class, checked out of the hotel, had a two hour rehearsal in which we went over all the music twice, sometimes three times.  Then we had a quick lunch, took the Encore Chorale Camp at Chautauqua 2009 Class Picture on the steps of the hotel, and then returned to the concert hall for our finale.

    I could sense the excitement from everyone.  And I was really pleased and excited to have Donna Anderson, our Affiliate Encore Chorale conductor of Laurel Lake Retirement Community, at the concert.  What a truly delightful woman.  She has all the "right stuff" to be at the helm of an Encore Chorale.  She traveled to Chautauqua from Hudson, Ohio with her mother Ruth Anderson, who is the accompanist of the chorale.  Also attending was one of their singers.  It was great to have them.

    The concert was fabulous!  The energy in that group was so fun to watch and I loved conducting them.  I thought the repertoire was varied, beautiful, soulful, contemplative, fun, crazy, audience pleasing and just plain excellent.   I will talk about the concert in my web site article.  But I can say that we all left camp with such a sense of accomplishment and a true fulfillment.  The singers were wonderful.........we shared great conversation.  We all laughed a lot.  We all learned a lot.  It was a spectacular week.  I don't know how we could top that, but I am sure we will come up with something.  I am already thinking about next year...

    When I arrived home, I walked in the door and the phone was ringing. This was Saturday of Labor Day Weekend.  And the phone kept ringing.  All were calls for different Encore Chorales.  Camp is over, summer is over and we are all ready to go back to school.  Encore is off and running with another fabulous season of music, friendship, laughter and learning.

  • Fun for All in Chautauqua

    01-chau2009The second annual Encore Chorale Camp at Chautauqua Institution was a truly wonderful experience for all who attended. Thirty eight campers assembled August 31 at Chautauqua for five days of rehearsing great music under conductors Jeanne Kelly, Founder of Encore Creativity for Older Adults and Dr. John Barry Talley, retired Director of Musical Activities at the United States Naval Academy. <<VIEW THREE-PART PHOTO GALLERY HERE>>

    The singers came from New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Delaware, Texas, Maryland, Virginia, and Ontario, Canada. The beautiful Athenaeum Hotel became our home for the next five days, providing excellent accommodations and truly memorable food.  Our commuters from the local Chautauqua area joined us for daily lunches.

    After check-in, the campers had their first choral rehearsal and it was clear there were 38 great singers ready to have a grand week. After rehearsal, they returned to the hotel for an opening wine and cheese party, followed by an excellent dinner.

    Each day started with breakfast and then a very fast moving movement/stretch/dance class with energetic instructor Peg Wallos Barrett.  The campers certainly worked off their breakfast. Then on to a two hour choral rehearsal or sectional. After lunch, the campers could choose to take a voice technique class or just relax down by the lake. Then on to another choral rehearsal. Evenings brought excellent concerts presented by the West Shore Piano Trio. The first evening they performed the Piano Trio by Claude Debussy and Piano Trio (1921) by Rebecca Clarke. The campers and a large number of Chautauqua residents enjoyed the marvelous concert.

    Wednesday evening violinist Heather Haughn and pianist Jay DeWire performed blockbusters including Liebestraume No. 3,Puccini opera arias, 3 Preludes by Gershwin, Meditation from Thais,Isolde’s Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde,  and the Concert Fantasy on Carmen.  The crowd loved this concert and Encore was so pleased to present these brilliant young artists.

    Thursday evening Encore presented “Unexpected Guests,” a comedy improve group from Jamestown, New York and they had the audience rolling in the aisles. Mike Sullivan, Chautauqua’s Director of Public Relations, was a member of the group and there was certainly a local audience who came out to see him.They did not disappoint!

    81d-chau2009The last day of camp came too early for all. The week had been perfect, with meeting new friends and rehearsing exciting choral music and learning more about the voice.The 2:00 pm concert was a huge success.Conductor Jeanne Kelly opened the concert with the Encore Chorale singing  a precise and energetic Gloria from Vivaldi’s Gloria,followed by a lively and rhythmic Alleluia (2004) written by Tom Benjaminfor the United States Naval Academy.The chorale beautifully performed Sing Me To Heaven, by Daniel Gawthrop, a Washington, DC composer.  And the gorgeous, haunting melodies of Black is the Color and The Water is Wide were outstanding.  Then the chorale raised the roof with a rousing performance of Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit.  The chorale was in excellent voice and spirit.

    Dr. John Barry Talley then took to the conducting podium with his own arrangement of West Side Story, arranged specifically for the Encore Chorale.The singers had a blast portraying the voices of the Jets, Sharks and girlfriends.It came off splendidly and the operatic Tonightwas excellent.  The concert concluded with a very clever medley of old TV music, arranged by Talley.The medley started with the chorale giving it their all with their Archie and Edith Bunker voices singing the hit tune Those Were the Daysfrom All in the Family.  Hysterical!

    Other tunes included music from The Howdy Doody Show,The Mickey Mouse ClubBonanza, Best of the West, The Beverly HillbilliesGreen AcresDragnet, 77 Sunset Strip, The Pink Panther,  and  finally The Muppet Show,with the singers stretching their arms high and making their hand talk like a muppet.The crowd went crazy and so did the singers.What a way to end a fabulous Encore Chorale Camp at Chautauqua.

  • A Busy First Week of the Season for Encore!

    JK_Boat_042509What a week!  Encore opened seven existing Encore Chorales for the fall season.   Starting on Tuesday,  (3 days after I returned from Chautauqua),  Potomac Academy of GMU at Woodlands opened with returning and new singers.   This chorale is growing!  Great group of folks.  Then on to Langston Brown that afternoon where we have almost 65 singers.  Many of those singers have been with me since 2001.   That says a lot.   We have a long and wonderful history.   The next day The Smithsonian Encore Chorale opened with almost 80 singers.  Wow!  Nothing like dragging in almost 700 pieces of music in the rain.   But it happened and that will continue to be a truly great chorale.  Then on that afternoon to Lorton Workhouse Arts Center to greet new and returning singers.   I am very happy to see this chorale growing, also.   So good to see old friends.

    Thursday took me to Baltimore to see my Myerberg Encore Chorale pals.   Lots of hugs.  And I was so pleased to see so many singers return, especially my men!   Love those men!   They have a great sound.

    Friday is Goodwin House Day -  Goodwin House Alexandria in the morning and Goodwin House Baileys in the afternoon.   It poured Friday morning and they were many accidents in the DC area,  and then I-395 was a "parking lot"  because they were having a memorial service at the Pentagon for 9/11.  I must say it was rather moving and extremely sad to drive by the Pentagon at just about the precise time the Pentagon was hit that horrible morning.  I also happened to be driving by on that day in 2001 and saw the smoke rising before it was reported on the news.

    It was good to see all my Goodwin House dear friends.  They have been with me since 2001 and we have become close.  They and the Langston Brown Chorale were the three chorales in the Creativity and Aging Study.  We go way back.

    Friday night I rested.  AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

    Monday Encore will open two brand new Encore Chorales, one at Schweinhaut Senior Center in Silver Spring, MD which is attracting a lot of interest.   We should start with about 30 singers.   And Monday afternoon, we open the chorale at Anne Arundel Community College in Annapolis.

    So, by Monday I will have disbursed over 2,640 pieces of music  to over 300 energetic and enthusiastic singers.  I am so fortunate to say that I am always eager to go to work!  Not a lot of people can say that.  Happy singing everyone!!

  • Wow! What a Surprise!

    JK_Boat_042509What an incredible day yesterday.Larry and I were invited to our daughter Tiffany and son-in-law Mike's home for a celebration of our new family holiday, "Festivus." Our daughter Heather was joining us. And of course all the dogs, Xena, Maggie and Molly. We established Festivus (name inspired by a famous Seinfeld episode)to be a vegan holiday dinner, respecting our daughter Heather's commitment to veganism.As we were driving over to Ashburn, we were speculating on what we would be eating and Larry was lamenting that there would be no meat!

    Well, shen we arrived and opened the door,what a huge surprise. There were many people shouting,"Happy Festivus."...and, "Happy Birthday."WOW!Turns out, our daughters had secretly planned this as a surprise birthday party for Larry and me. And what a huge surprise it was! I turn "THE BIG SIX-OH" on October 8 and Larry follows on December 10.With very busy schedules ahead, the daughters decided to throw a joint birthday party early.Neither of us ever had a surprise party before and we had a grand day. All our family, good friends and sailing buddies were there - we're still marveling over how Heather and Tiffany tracked them all down. Speaking of sailing, Heather and Tiffany were afraid we would call and say that it was a perfect sailing day and could we come over later than planned.But we arrived on time, ready for Festivus - and completely not ready for what they had planned.

    We are two lucky people with two great daughters! What a day!!!!

  • A Tiger by the Tail!

    staff - anderson donna copy webIt's September, and the Laurel Lake Encore Chorale is off to a phenomenal start.

    The work began months ago: choosing repertoire, ordering the music, stamping and getting it into folders. Our music library has been housed on my dining room table this summer.

    The first Laurel Lake Chorale rehearsal kicked off on Tuesday September 8 over 50 singers strong -- and strong they are! We've gained 12 new members, and the group's sound is BEAUTIFULLY anchored with eight basses and six tenors. Our sopranos and altos have a marvelous tone and impressive range. Need a high G or an A? No problem.

    At the first full rehearsal, you could tell that everyone was thrilled to be back. The singers charged in fearlessly, sight-reading the very patriotic and lengthy "Armed Forces: The Pride of America" and Irving Berlin's "Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor" with ease. The gorgeous setting of the 23rd Psalm by Mark Hayes, "The God of Love My Shepherd Is," could have been written for this group.

    When I asked them to take out "Do You Hear What I Hear?", one of the basses immediately shot back: "Nope, hearing's shot." Everybody's a comedian.

    This holiday season the chorale will also be performing the traditional French carol, "What Is This Lovely Fragrance?" with handbells, "The Winter's Night" by Nicholas Myers, Andre Thomas' "African Noel," Howard Helvey's gospel rockin' "Go Tell It On the Mountain," Sammy Cahn's jazzy "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!", Irving Berlin's "White Christmas," John Rutter's frenetic "We Wish You A Merry Christmas," and "Light," a haunting piece from Michael Isaacson's Chanukah song cycle, Aspects of a Great Miracle.

    Whew! Looooootta work ahead. But this gang is up to the challenge. After practice, my accompanist (and mom) Ruth Anderson said, "This is really something. You've got a tiger by the tail!"

    Do we ever! Encore is growing, and so are Laurel Lake's performance opportunities. We're planning a vocal technique workshop with Jeanne Kelly in Ohio the weekend of November 14th, a combined choirs concert with the Summit Choral Society Children's Concert Choir, and more to come.

    Know anyone 55 or older in Ohio? Tell them to look us up!

  • A Working Weekend Capped Off by a Beautiful Rainbow

    cb_rainbowWe are now into our third and fourth weeks of rehearsals and all chorales are truly amazing.  The largest is Smithsonian with 80 singers.  The smallest is also our newest, at Anne Arundel Community College with 10 singers, but they sure can sing and sight-read.  All totaled, Encore now has over 400 singers, ages 55 to 96, in Virginia, Maryland, DC, and Ohio - with more to be added in Pennsylvania this week (see below).  And sing they do!  The rehearsals are so much fun.  The singers ask lots of questions and are really into improving their voices.  We have talked a lot about vocal technique and you can hear the difference.  I have spent my entire life teaching voice and I still get to teach it everyday.

    Tomorrow is a big day in Indiana, Pennsylvania.  A new Affiliate Encore Chorale of Indiana, PA will be born under the expert direction of Jane Potter Baumer.  Jane was a voice student of mine many years back and is now living in Indiana, PA where she has a very successful private voice studio and sings professionally.  She has two lovely daughters and her husband is on the music faculty at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  I can't wait to hear how their first rehearsal goes.  If you know anyone who loves to sing in or near Indiana, see details here.

    Larry and I spent the entire weekend working on Encore business.  Lucky for us the weather was not great.  So we really got a lot accomplished.  Just keeping the rosters up to date is a huge chore, especially at this time of year when we have so many new programs and singers.  But everyone is on email and we are very organized.  I am already thinking about spring and camp repertoire.

    So after working the weekend away, we decided to sail at 3pm Sunday when the sun came through.  It was gorgeous when we left the dock.  Nice wind, good glass of wine and the !)@(#$*&%$^ Redskins game on the radio in the background.  The game was a disaster - the Skins are a disaster.  Encore is so much better. Laughing We should be on the radio.

    Anyway,  the sky started to darken and within a half hour the heavens opened up.  We couldn't see anything.  It rained so hard it stung our face, even under the boat canvas.  But it was still an adventure on Cantabile.   Just being out there with no computer, phone, washing machine, garden..........pure bliss.   And then the rain stopped and we were treated to a double rainbow.   Absolutely gorgeous. Ordinarily, we keep a camera on board - figures we were without it on Sunday. Fortunately, our friends, Ed and Claudia Evans were out on their boat and took the picture above (thanks, Claudia!).  I will hold that image until this weekend.   Nothing like sailing!

  • Qhautauqua 2009 Photo Gallery Part I

    Chautauqua Chorale Camp

    2009 Photo Gallery

    PART 1

    Click Here to Go to Part II

    Click Here to Go to Part III (includes final concert photos)

    Click on First Photo Below to Launch Photo Slide Show. Click in Upper Right Corner of Photo to Advance to the Next Picture - or click on individual photo to expand view (18 Photos).

     

  • Chautauqua 2009 Photo Gallery Part II

  • Chautauqua 2009 Photo Gallery Part III - Includes Final Concert Photos

    Chautauqua Chorale Camp

    2009 Photo Gallery

    PART III

    Click Here to Go to Part I

    Click Here to Go to Part II

    Click on First Photo Below to Launch Photo Slide Show. Click in Upper Right Corner of Photo to Advance to the Next Picture - or click on individual photo to expand view (28 Photos).