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  • Goodwin House Bailey's Crossroads Singers - Fall 2011

    Goodwin House Bailey's Crossroads Singers begin Fall 2011 Season
  • Goodwin House Alexandria Singers - Fall 2011

    Goodwin House Encore Chorale Members happy to begin the season!
  • Langston Brown Encore Chorale Fall 2010: 66 Singers

    Greetings from the Encore Chorale at Langston Brown Senior Center, Arlington, VA
    Langston Chorale Rehearsal September 28, 2010
    Langston Chorale Rehearsal September 28, 2010
  • Schweinhaut Chorale: One of Encore's Largest!

    The Schweinhaut Senior Center Encore Chorale began its third year with 58 Singers!
  • AACC Chorale At Its Third Year!

    With over 50 singers for the Fall 2011 season, the AACC Encore Chorale has more than doubled in size since its beginning in 2009!
  • A Great End to the Summer at Chautauqua!

    aaimg_3187The third annual Encore Chorale Camp at Chautauqua was a resounding success in every way.  There were 49 happy campers form Texas, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, New York, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania , Delaware, Washington, DC and Ontario, Canada who travelled to Chautauqua Institution in Western New York for a fabulous week of learning and performing choral music.  After registration at the beautiful Athenaeum Hotel on Monday at noon, the singers dove right in to their first choral rehearsal, singing thru all the pieces to give them an idea of the hard work ahead.  A lovely reception and dinner was next on the agenda, followed by a brilliant concert of “Encores for Encore” by violinist Heather Haughn and pianist Jay DeWire.  The tired campers were early in bed that first night.

    The campers started Tuesday with a huge breakfast and then off to movement/dance class led by Peg Wallos-Barrett. It was a great class with lots of moving to get the singers warmed up for their morning choral rehearsal.  Rehearsal started with sectionals for the men and women and then the singers joined forces for the remainder of the rehearsal.  With just two rehearsals under their belt, they were already sounding quite good.   After lunch there was soprano technique class and  male  sectionals. Then the singers  enjoyed a lovely cruise on the paddle boat Chautauqua Belle.  It was indeed a very nice way to spend a l ate hot afternoon cruising on Chautauqua Lake.  The campers returned to the hotel  for a happy hour and then another fabulous dinner.  That evening they rehearsed The Music Man with camp guest conductor Dr. Barry Talley, retired musical director of the United States Naval Academy.  After rehearsing The Music Man, especially arranged for them by Dr. Talley, they were certainly pumped up and the hotel set up a cash bar. The singers enjoyed sitting out on the grand porch, enjoying New York wine, the lake breeze  and getting to know one another.

    Wednesday started with movement class and then off to sectionals to nail down parts.  The singers still thought they needed more work on parts, so after lunch, they did more sectional work and then a full rehearsal.  The sound of the chorale was really starting to take shape.  It was a long but very productive day of rehearsing.  After yet another excellent dinner on the hotel porch overlooking the lake,  the singers attended a delightful concert performed by mezzo-soprano Jane Potter-Baumer, the Indiana, PA Encore Chorale Director.  She sang the best of Broadway and it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening after a long day.  It was early to bed that night for most of the singers.

    Thursday brought more sectionals and full rehearsals.  The singers were becoming confident with their singing and the sound was exciting.  Their strong musicianship was evident and they were close to performance level.  Thursday evening the singers enjoyed a performance by the comedy improvisation company Unexpected Guests.  Very funny indeed.  It was a good way to wind down from an exhausting day.

    Friday morning, some of the diehards attended the final movement class.  It was also check-out time and then off to their final rehearsal. Lunch was served at the hotel and a special celebration of Betty Wren’s 74th birthday and Barry and Marcia Talley’s wedding anniversary.  But the big event was the 50th wedding anniversary of Frank and Karen Gould that day. The hotel served a beautiful cake and the singers serenaded the bride and groom.  Then it was out on the steps of the grand hotel for their camp picture.  The singers looked magnificent in their black Encore tee shirts.

    The grand finale concert began at 2pm and the singers opened with Dona Nobis Pacem from Haydn’s Orgelmesse.  The tempo was brisk and the singing was precise and energetic.  They followed the Haydn with Handel’s And the Glory of the Lord from Messiah, with Dr. Talley conducting.  The sound was exciting and strong and the singers were enjoying themselves, as was the large and appreciative audience. Then the sound exploded with the spiritual Great Gettin’ Up Mornin'.  The energy level was higher than they had ever achieved in rehearsal. Following this was a beautiful reading of Bright Morning Stars – a Kentucky Hymn. Closing this portion of the concert, the singers gave a highly spirited performance of Great Day!   The singers were truly having a blast up on stage.

    Then it was time to turn down the mood with beautiful and sincere performances of Gershwin’s But Not for Me and Embraceable You. The sound was shimmering. The grand finale came with a rousing performance of The Music Man, arranged by Talley.  The chorale chose to have not one, but five Harold Hills!  It worked well.   It was a ambitious and exciting piece to end the concert.  All the hard work the singers put into this arrangement really was evident. And the audience loved it.

    After the concert, everyone said good bye to one another with lots of hugs and kisses until next year.  There will be many repeat campers.  These excellent singers learned a lot about their voices, met great friends, ate copious amounts of excellent food, enjoyed superb but hot weather, experienced the incredible sights and atmosphere of the Chautauqua Institution and gave a great final camp performance.  It was indeed a great way to spend five days!


  • Chautauqua Update

    chautauqua2I am sitting in my hotel room at 7am Thursday, watching the weather station talk about the hurricane that is going to play with the east coast. It looks like it will play hardball.  When you live on the water, you always watch these reports carefully. 

    No bad weather here in Chautauqua!   It has been sunny, sunny, sunny and hot!  Too hot.  Today it will be in the low 80s. Nice and very welcomed.

    Camp has been so much fun.  We have a really great group of people and everyone is enjoying one another.  Happy campers.......that's what we are.

    Tuesday was the day for the Chautauqua Belle cruise on the lake and it was a lovely way to spend the late afternoon.  We had rehearsed hard that day and the rest was welcomed. On Tuesday evening, I was rehearsing with our soprano recitalist, so Barry Talley, our guest conductor, took the rehearsal and they worked hard on The Music Man. Every singer came back from that rehearsal psyched! 

    Wednesday dawned and after breakfast, and movement class, we did sectionals and then combined forces.  The rep is starting to take shape.  Very exciting indeed. I think this is the most difficult rep Encore has ever tackled.  Many of our singers have sung their entire life.  There are retired choral conductors and music teachers in the chorale. And there are some who have not sung for many years.  The confident, more experienced singers help make the others feel comfortable and welcomed.  It all works out.

    The afternoon brought three hours of hard rehearsal.  We were all exhausted!  But the hotel served us such an excellent dinner on the porch of the hotel.  The evening was perfect and the view so beautiful.  Sitting on that porch, I just imagined was it was like in the early 1900's.  I could spend a lot of time on that porch. 

    After dinner we all went back to Lenna Hall to enjoy a lovely and very well performed concert by soprano Jane Potter Baumer.  I was Jane's first voice teacher, so we go way back to the 80's.  She looks just like she did then!  Not fair, Jane!!   And Jane conducts the Encore Chorale in Indiana, PA.  She performed an evening of Broadway tunes and the audience loved her.  One delightful tune after another.  And it was so much fun for me to accompany.  Everyone loved the perfect evening.  Well......almost perfect.  One of our singers was walking back to the hotel from the concert and took a stumble.  Off to the emergency room for stitches in the chin.  Oh Lucille!  

    Today, the sun has dawned.  Another beautiful day in Chautauqua.  More later............

  • Chautauqua: The Final Day!

    chautauqua2In Chautauqua this morning,  you see all these folks running around in black slacks and black tee shirts with a very colorful and cool looking logo that says Encore Creativity for Older Adults!    Hmmmmmmmmm

    Well, we are ready for our final camp finale concert at 2pm.  But first we have to check out of the hotel,  have breakfast, go to movement class, and then have a final two hour touch-up rehearsal.  Then on to lunch where we will be celebrating the 50th wedding anniversary of Frank and Karen Gould - WOW-  and the 74th birthday of beautiful Betty Wren.  And Barry and Marcia Talley will be celebrating their anniversary Sept. 5.  At least I think it is Sept. 5.  They were debating.............Either Sept. 5 or 6 and I can't remember what the outcome was.

    The weather has been sunny and hot all week.  In fact, very hot for Chautauqua.  But it is better than rain.  Tomorrow it will be rainy, windy and 60.  We lucked out.

    So I am signing off from Encore Chorale Camp 2010 at Chautauqua.  It has been a truly extraordinary group of singers and many friendships have been made.

    Many a glass of wine has been consumed too!   We have really had a great five days.   Until next year.................................

  • The Fall Season is Underway!

    jeanne_boat_2010_07Well, I have finally resurfaced!  The last time you heard from me was the last day of camp at Chautauqua, right before our final camp concert.   It was truly grand!   What a great week!!

    I have been busy opening all ten Encore Chorales.  I have personally distributed over 3,200 pieces of music.  That is a lot of music!   We have over 400 singers combined.  The rehearsals have been fabulous, meeting new singers and welcoming our returning singers.  It is the rehearsal process that really gets my psyched.  The singers come ready to be challenged and have a great time doing it.

    Our Smithsonian Encore Chorale now has 100 singers.  And all of our chorales have shown growth.  AACC Encore Chorale has tripled growth in one year.   I am very lucky to be working with such wonderful, smart, inquisitive and positive singers.

    I was sitting out on my porch overlooking the bay this morning, watching a spectacular sunrise.  And of course I was thinking about Encore, our expansion, our terrific singers, the future of Encore and where we go from here.   And of course I was thinking about our first grandchild, a baby boy to be named either Connor or Lucas, to be born Nov. 2.  That is truly an awesome thought for Larry and me.  Life is good!


  • Week #3 and We're Still Growing!

    JK_Boat_042509We are in our third week of Encore Chorale rehearsals and we are still adding lots of singers. Rehearsals have been exciting and stimulating and the singers love the music. It is always a challenge to chose music that all will enjoy working on. I think I pleased most.

    I decided last week to combine the Lorton and Potomac Academy of GMU Encore Chorales and they will meet at The Woodlands. They have their first combined rehearsal today. Should be fun.

    Last week at the Smithsonian I was discussing the soft palate and what the sensation is when it is way down. I was demonstrating the sound when talking with the palate down, telling them it doesn't allow the voice to carry and the voice has lack of inflection and range. An alto piped up and said it sounded sexy! Then Marya Fitzgerald, a soprano, piped up and said "it's too late." It was so darn funny. We all laughed our heads off. You would have had to be there to really get the humor. Timing was wonderful. So Marya wins the quote of the week. Ah, humor is everything!

    Glen Echo, our newest chorale is off to a running start. Thirty wonderful singers with excellent reading skills. It is so fun to walk through the beautiful Glen Echo Park on my way to rehearsal. The area reflects of a bygone era and the natural surroundings are beautiful. It ‘s a fun place to be. All you Bethesda singers.......come join us on Thursdays at 2pm. I hope to take a ride on the Carousel one of these days.

    This morning the fog was rolling across the water from the marsh. The 50 degree air wafting across the 70 degree water made for some gorgeous views.......right out of Lohengrin! But where oh where was the resident swan?

  • PHOTOS: Chautauqua 2010 Part 1

    Chautauqua Chorale Camp

    2010 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.


  • PHOTOS: Chautauqua 2010 Part 2

  • PHOTOS: Chautauqua 2010 Part 3 - Includes Final Concert

    Chautauqua Chorale Camp

    2010 Photo Gallery


    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.