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  • From Chautauqua to a New Season - in a Blink!

    aa_01I got in my car yesterday to drive to our first fall 2011 Encore Chorale rehearsal and I just could not believe how fast the summer went.   How on earth could it be fall already?  

    Chautauqua was a complete and awesome success.   We had 98 very happy campers (see photo), more than twice as many as any previous year.  The rehearsals and classes were great.  And the mixture of personalities from all over the country were great.

    As I sat and watched the final performances of the theatre and dance, I wanted to just sit and cry. But I smiled instead! And when I stood in front of 75 fabulous singers in concert……..wow.    I was so darn proud of what we had accomplished.   Sometimes I feel that I work so hard to make this all happen that  I don’t realize what is actually happening.  But as I watched, I realized that Encore was all and much more than I had ever imagined.  I was so proud.Encore was simply superb.

    Our first Encore Chorale rehearsals yesterday were energizing.   The singers loved the music, lots of new singers and tons of energy.   Potomac Academy of GMU at The Woodlands had the first rehearsal…….great readers and singers.   Then Langston folks poured thru the door to celebrate our tenth anniversary together.    Many of those wonderful singers were with me when we did the Creativity and Aging Study.   I guess they love it!   We had a fabulous and energetic rehearsal and then Arlington County Office of Senior Adult Programs came in with two beautiful cakes to help us celebrate.   It was a grand afternoon.  

    When I got home, I sat out on the screened-in porch for five minutes to try and clear my brain, and enough time to watch our Great Blue Heron take flight and land very gently on top of the shed on the pier.   His landing reminded me of how I describe how singers should gently glide from the top into a sound.   I smiled and then my thoughts were on Smithsonian’s first rehearsal with over 100 singers and the start of our new Springfield Encore Chorale today.   Go go go !

  • "Other Duties as Assigned"

    JK_Boat_042509I have added a new job to my job description.   I now direct traffic.   Yes, that’s right.   I drove down to our new Southern Maryland Encore Chorale at Asbury Solomons Retirement Community in Solomons, MD yesterday to make sure everyone was parking in the correct parking lot.   I wore my black Encore tee shirt and had our Encore sign.   When anybody drove past, I pointed to the Encore sign and pointed to the parking lot.    Lucky for me it was a gorgeous sunny day.    Actually it was fun.   And it was such a joy to meet all the singers.   What a great group they are!   They are in excellent hands with Krystal Rickard McCoy as their conductor.   And many of the singers have sung their entire life.   They have quite a wonderful sound.    I could not be more pleased!

     All the chorales are a few weeks into rehearsals  and all is well.   We keep getting new singers every week.    I keep ordering music.   Encore is exploding.    And this week I spoke with folks out of the Boston area who are interested in starting an Encore Chorale.     Word is getting out.  

     Larry and I took 0ur Cantabile out for a motor spin last night and it is just what we needed.   It was only for an hour but aaaahhhhhhhhhhhh.   The evening weather was perfect, the sea calm, the temperatures lovely and the Jack Daniels was tasty.   We need to do that more often.  Puts things into perspective.

  • New Programs Help Set Record at Chautauqua

    aa_01<<CLICK ON PHOTO TO GO TO PHOTO ALBUMS>>

    Encore’s Fourth Annual Summer Institute at Chautauqua Institution was a huge success.    With the additions of a Theatre Institute and Dance Institute, there were 98 creative older adults singing, acting and dancing. Attendance was more than double the previous record.   

    The Encore Choral Institute was conducted by Encore Founder Jeanne Kelly and retired Director of Musical Activities at the United States Naval Academy,  Dr. John Barry Talley. Dr. Stuart Kandell, Founder of Stagebridge Theatre in Oakland, CA  and David Barnet, professor of theatre at University of Alberta, Canada,  headed up the theatre program and Shula Strassfeld of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange led the dance institute.

    The students started their day with a choice of movement classes,  one high impact and strength building and one for total relaxation and stretching.  The students enjoyed an energetic rehearsal after movement.  Every afternoon,   students were invited to venture out of their chosen track and  take a vocal technique, sight reading, theatre or dance class.  Another two hour rehearsal in their major track followed.    Evenings were spent attending fabulous professional concerts with artists Hyeweon Lee, piano,   Brooke Evers, soprano and Susan Ricci, piano  and the Young People’s Chorus of Erie.   These concerts were open to the public and were very well attended.

    The students stayed at the historic Athenaeum Hotel and enjoyed marvelous dining and lively conversation out on the porch after the evening concerts.   The hotel enjoys a gorgeous setting on the lake and the hotel porch is so inviting.   This year we had many commuters attending the institute from the local western New York area.

    On the final day of the institute,   all  students performed.   First up was the Theatre performance in Bratton Theatre with the students teaming up to do four minute dialogues.   Fabulous performances were given from the plays Our Town, Richard the Third ,   The Visit , Death KnocksChallenge to Bureaucracy, Romance at the Supermarket,  and The Love Doctor.

    Then the entire audience moved to Lenna Hall to watch the dancers perform with beautiful fluidity and creative movement.    The Encore Choral program with 75 singers closed the program performing a spirited Credo from Hayden’s Lord Nelson Mass,  followed by lovely madrigals, and  beautiful readings of As Time Goes By and It Must Have Been Moonglow.  John Barry Talley arranged a very creative Gilbert and Sullivan medley just for the Encore singers.    The concert closed with rousing and energetic performances of Rockin’ Jerusalem and Hallelujah, Get Happy!

    And indeed everyone was very happy with the five days packed with learning, challenging themselves, trying something new,   being courageous, and  meeting new friends from around the country.  It was a grand closure for the 2011 Encore summer season.

  • Sing at Sea! Feb 25 - Mar 3, 2012

    Encore will be embarking on our FIFTH Singing at Sea cruise to the Caribbean, February 25 to March 3, 2012.  Join us on the fabulous Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seasas we depart from San Juan, Puerto Rico to such exotic destinations as Tortola, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Dominica, and Barbados.  The cruise is in conjunction with the Fun & Fitness Travel Club.  Details below.  Sign up now, so you don't miss out on this great opportunity!

    singing at sea february 25 2012_page_1

    singing at sea february 25 2012_page_2

  • PHOTOS: Chautauqua 2011 - General Activities

    Encore's Fourth Annual Summer Institute at Chautauqua, August 29 - September 2, 2011, expanded from the traditional Choral program to add Theatre and Dance Tracks.  A record-setting 98 participants spent the week singing, dancing and acting.  Photo album of the General and Entertainment activities is below.  Click on the photo to launch the album, then click on the right side of the picture to advance to the next photo.
    {gallery}Chau_2011_Gen{/gallery}
  • PHOTOS: Chautauqua 2011 - Choral Track

    Encore's Fourth Annual Summer Institute at Chautauqua, August 29 - September 2, 2011, expanded from the traditional Choral program to add Theatre and Dance Tracks.  A record-setting 98 participants spent the week singing, dancing and acting.  Photo album of the Choral Track activities is below.  Click on the photo to launch the album, then click on the right side of the picture to advance to the next photo.
    {gallery}Chau_2011_Choral{/gallery}
  • PHOTOS: Chautauqua 2011 - Theatre Track

    Encore's Fourth Annual Summer Institute at Chautauqua, August 29 - September 2, 2011, expanded from the traditional Choral program to add Theatre and Dance Tracks.  A record-setting 98 participants spent the week singing, dancing and acting.  Photo album of the Theatre Track activities is below.  Click on the photo to launch the album, then click on the right side of the picture to advance to the next photo.
    {gallery}Chau_2011_Theatre{/gallery}
  • PHOTOS: Chautauqua 2011 Dance-Movement Track

    {gallery}Ch2011Dance{/gallery}