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  • On The Road

    JK_Boat_042509I have not written since May13, when we still had three more concerts to perform.   I think my long awaited “nap”  has done the trick and I am back at in full swing.  Well actually,  I really only took a short nap!   Our concerts ended on My 17 and on May 23 I drove out to Hudson, Ohio to hear our Laurel Lake Encore Chorale perform in concert.    I was so pleased to be with them for their exciting concert.   It was a great evening with wonderful singing and so much love for what they do.   I couldn’t stop smiling.   Encore is really working.   My dream is to have Encore Chorales of high excellence all over the country.

    Donna Anderson and her Laurel Lake Encore Chorale really made me feel proud of our work.   And to see our Encore logo on a concert program in Hudson, Ohio was sheer joy.   I travelled the next morning up to Chautauqua for meetings with their staff.   I can tell you that Chautauqua is one beautiful place!   Just incredible.    And at this time last year, we had 5 registrants.  This year we have 49 so far - perhaps headed for over 100.   Wow!!!   Our Choral, Dance and Theatre Institute at Chautauqua Institution will be grand.

    So join us!!!!!

    I arrived home on Wednesday to a lot of emails and office work and of course,  doing work on Cantabile.  Larry and I were planning on sailing four glorious days over  the Memorial Day Weekend.   So the boat had to look perfect.   Doing varnish is not one of my favorite things in the world, but………

    Larry did most of it, but the stinker left the hardest spots for me.  Nothing like being down on your hands and knees trying to get to the unreachable spots.   UGH!  But she is gorgeous and our four days were so much fun.   We sailed “door to door” from our house to the Corsica River off the Chester River.   Incredibly beautiful scenery over in that neck of the woods.   Then we left for Chestertown, MD for the reenactment of the Chestertown Tea Party.   We were ready to go in with our dinghy but our dinghy engine refused to start.  So we rowed.  Talk about hard.   And when I say “we,” I mean Larry.    So we missed the reenactment but could see some of the fun from our boat anchored in the Chester.   But it was so good to be on Cantabile and relax.   Because………in three weeks we have our Choral Institute at St. Mary’s College of Maryland with 57 singers!  That is the largest choral group we have ever had at a summer camp.   I am ready!  Music has been shipped to the singers, tee shirts, hats, mugs and bags are ordered, catering all figured out and we're working on the housing assignments.   These programs are a lot of work but so much fun.  

    And right after St. Mary’s comes the Singing at Sea Journey on the QM2.   Did somebody say I was going to get a vacation?????

  • Off to Saint Mary's!

    01a-groupReady, set, GO!   It’s off to our Encore Choral Institute at St. Mary’s College of Maryland!   The singers, all 60 of them, will be checking into their dorm suites today at noon.   All is ready.  I hope the weather cooperates, especially for our scenic boat cruise on the gorgeous St. Mary’s River on Thursday and the outdoor Chesapeake Orchestra concert on Friday evening.    I guess we could have a “camp” talent show or “Encore Idol” contest if the weather doesn’t behave.  

     Our numbers doubled from our choral institute at St. Mary’s last year (last year's group "class photo" on left).  I am so excited about the great sound we will have.   It is really wonderful to work with so many talented singers.  And the music is fun…..full of lovely American Songbook melodies. 

     Sorry you won’t be with us.  We’ll send you a postcard.  Perhaps we’ll see you at Chautauqua.   But hurry up on registering.   The Encore Choral Institute is filling up fast.   And Theatre is doing great.   Come on you dancers.  Let us hear from you.   Just because we are over 55 doesn’t mean we can’t move!

     We’ll have lots of great pictures from St. Mary’s.   Check the web site on Tuesday, June 28.   Why so late?  Because after St. Mary’s Larry and I are going to the Castleton Opera Festival.   A little treat before the big treat………the Singing at Sea Journey on the fabulous Queen Mary 2!   With another 30 great singers!

     My my……..what a summer!

  • Laurel Lake Chorale Performs Excellent Spring Concert

    Encore’s affiliate chorale of Laurel Lake Retirement Community in Hudson, Ohio, gave a wonderful and inspiring concert on Monday, May 23, 2011.  The 45 singers performed to a standing room only audience and performed beautifully under the direction of Donna Anderson.   The evening opened with the singers performing Rodgers & Hammerstein on Broadway.  The energy level was high, the sound full, the diction clear and everyone was glued to their conductor.    Ryan Michaels, a young tenor from The University of Akron , performed a lovely rendition of You Raise Me Up.   His clear, beautiful voice rang out.

    The chorale continued with the traditional Irish tune Be Thou My Vision, followed by guest artist Gregory Fiocca, cellist with the Akron Baroque and Mastersingers of Northern Ohio.   His tone was elegant, full and rich in his performance of The Swan from The Carnival of the Animals by Saint Saens and the haunting Vocalise by Sergei Rachmaninoff.  The chorale’s performance of O My Luve’s Like a Red, Red Rose was stunning.  The singers sang with a gorgeous blend and conveyed the poetry beautifully.   They were accompanied by Gregory Fiocca, cello and  Amy Schneider, violin.  The mixture of the voices and instruments were perfect.   Tenor, Ryan Michaels, returned to the stage to sing Danny Boy, much to the delight of the entire concert hall.

    The concert concluded with a rousing and most enjoyable singing of Wi’ A Hundred Pipers joined by Jill Rango, Drum, and Amy Hartman, Flute.  It was a joyous and uplifting ending to a truly great evening. The Laurel Lake Encore Chorale continued the excellence of Encore!

  • Saint Mary's Was a Blast!

    01_st_marys_2011_jeanneEncore Choral Institute at St. Mary’s College was such a grand five days.   I just got finished reading the critiques of all the 57 singers and I am thrilled with what I read.   These camps take a lot of planning and it paid off.   The people were so much fun and everyone enjoyed one another.  The college really loves Encore  and they try so hard to please us.   The food was great!   We all ate too much.   The evening concerts were exceptional and the weather cooperated all week.   And finally,  the singers were exceptional.   They had a lovely sound and they enjoyed the music so much.   It was just a “10” five days for all of us.  

    Now on to the Queen Mary 2!   I have most of the 30 singers coming to our home tomorrow to run thru the music and meet each other.   We don’t get a lot of rehearsal time on board…..about 2 hours a day for six days.   So I thought it would be good to get a jump start.   And then it is the July 4 weekend.  And then I have to figure out how to get all my formal attire and regular clothes into one suitcase!   Ha Ha!!  

    I returned from Encore Choral Institute at St. Mary’s College of Maryland to find that we received many more Chautauqua registrations.   Wow!   We are almost full for theatre  and we have 56 singers!   There is room in dance. This is so exciting.   And we have 7 more weeks of open registration!    I never thought in my wildest dreams that Encore would be so successful! 

    Have to pay some attention to my garden.   Can’t have folks coming to my house and see a weed!   That’s not perfection. Wink

  • St. Mary's 2011 - A Huge Success!

    01_st_marys_2011_official_photoThe Fourth Annual Encore Chorale Institute at St. Mary’s College, June 21 – June 25, was a huge success.   Fifty seven eager and excellent singers travelled to St. Mary’s College of Maryland to rehearse choral music, learn vocal technique and have a great time.   And a great time was had by all.

    The days started with an excellent movement class taught by Shaye Moore.  She utilized Yoga, and stretching and relaxation exercises.  That got the singers ready for their first rehearsal of the day.   The voices were excellent and the blend was excellent.   Then off to lunch, followed by  a vocal technique class or a sectional rehearsal.    The singers happily rehearsed another two hours, followed by dinner.   The evenings offered excellent professional concerts presented by Saint Maries Musica, a madrigal choral ensemble performing in costume, conducted by Krystal Rickard.   They were delightful.   Brooke Evers, soprano, wowed the audience with a wonderful recital including opera, lieder and American song.   Singers also enjoyed a scenic boat cruise on the St. Mary’s River and also a tour of  Historic St. Mary’s.  Friday evening the singers enjoyed the Chesapeake Orchestra concert on the college green, conducted by Jeffrey Silberschlag, in an all Baroque concert.

    The final day the Encore Choral Institute singers performed a grand finale concert, conducted by Jeanne Kelly, to a very appreciative audience.   They opened with a delightful Madrigal by Arthur Sullivan.   The diction was perfect, energy was high and the blend was excellent. They followed with a lovely performance of Vicki Tucker Courtney’s This Morning’s Paradise.  Their musicality came across with beautifully sculpted lines. Singing in the Rain was a uplifting performance and the singers truly enjoyed themselves.   A very nice touch was opening umbrellas on the final cadence.  Then on to The American Songbook with a beautiful reading of Someone to Watch Over Me by Gershwin.  The sound was passionate and the text was delivered with real sincerity.   Another Gershwin, Embraceable You, was performed with great nuance and warmth.   If I Loved You from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel showed beautiful and rich singing from both the women and men…..a real crowd pleaser.   Then on to a very entertaining and energetic performance of Make ‘Em Laugh: A Medley of Comic Songs arranged by Greg Gilpin.   It had lots of bounce and the singers had a ball performing it.   The concert closed with The Beatles When I’m Sixty Four and the audience rose to a standing ovation.   It was a fabulous and joyful climax to an exceptional five days of Encore Choral Institute at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.