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  • Looking Like Spring!

    JK_Boat_042509Signs of spring are everywhere on the beautiful Chesapeake Bay.  First, the Osprey are back.   The male flies back from South America first and sits on the nest that he and his mate inhabited last season, waiting patiently for her return.   Their year-old offspring don’t fly back for this season.  They stay down south for their first year. 

    This morning when I awakened at 6am I saw a small crabbing boat heading out.  The crabs are still in deeper, warmer water.  But it looks like the crabbing has begun. 

    And the boats are starting to stir.   Hallelujah!   Life seems so dull without sailing.  Larry will work on the boat today, sanding, waxing, etc.   Cantabile will splash in the water the week of April 8.   Ahhhhhhhhhhhh……gin and tonic time.

     The huge Aging in America Conference, conducted by the American Society on Aging, invited Encore to present 50 singers at the general session.   I chose an Encore Chorale that had 50 singers and that was Washington Conservatory at Glen Echo.   Then some had to drop out so I filled in numbers with Smithsonian singers who lived in the District.  Well I want to report that those singers wowed the audience.  When they were singing Rockin’ Jerusalem with Nancy Leech on tambourine,  the audience started clapping.  I looked around and everyone in the audience was smiling.  The singers were moving and playing off one another and having a ball, not to mention sounding fabulous.  After we finished the audience jumped to their feet!  We were all simply amazed.  We felt like rock stars.   And then the guys put on their Beatle’s wigs and we launched into When I’m 64.  Now that was fun!  The audience went wild  and I never saw such energy and joy coming from Encore singers.  Again, the audience jumped to their feet.  Amazing what really good and happy singing can do to people.  Aging conferences can get a little dull with speeches on lack of funding, what are we going to do with all the Alzheimers patients, Medicare, Medicaid,  and the list goes on and on.  Encore definitely put a very positive face on aging.  I am so proud of what we do!

  • Encore Members' Creativity Goes Beyond Singing

    jeffcherryI consider myself very lucky to be among such talented people.  One of our singers, Phil Anctil, baritone with Langston Brown Encore Chorale, recently won first place in the Channel 7 WJLA News Cherry Blossom photo contest (Photo on left).  His photo is just gorgeous and I want everyone to see his work.   We are all proud of you Phil.  

    This morning I was sitting staring at the bay while waking up and a strange sight caught my eye.  Birdfeeders are for birds, but apparently not ours.   There was a cute, big raccoon munching away, enjoying his breakfast.  He- she  was actually hanging upside down from the feeder.  Thinking he was going to eat all the seed we had just put in the feeder, I went outside after about five minutes and watched his hysterical dismount right into the roses.   Another great reason to live where we do.   Never the same scene.

    Last night the usual Sunday evening cruise ship headed down the Bay, but it was about two hours later than normal, so all the lights were on.   Beautiful!

    We spent the entire weekend working on Cantabile and that makes two weekends in a row.   It is back-breaking work putting on those coats of varnish.   It takes five hours for each coat and count them………..we put four coats on.   Tonight will be the last coat.  It is quite a process.  Larry sanded all the varnish off.   Then you have to make sure the teak is cleaned.   Then you tape up the entire boat with blue varnish tape so you don’t get varnish on the gel coat.   Then you do the varnish. But you have to do all four coats within a time frame of about 10 days, because the tape will not come off easily if you let it set.  I keep saying that varnishing is not in my job description. …………………………………………………  And then there is the cabin sole where you have to varnish your way out of the boat.  And then I had to go backwards up the companionway steps, varnishing as I went.  So if I look like my back hurts, you know why.

    The chorales are really close to performance level.   I will just keep saying  “watch me”  over and over.  It is starting to happen!   We have a few pieces memorized.  Memorization makes all the difference in the world.   It gives the singers more freedom to have fun.  But it can be downright terrifying too.  All I want is for the singers to have a grand time.   I am really looking forward to all eleven concerts.   Every season I say I will not do more than six concerts.   Guess I haven’t figured that one out yet. 

  • Chorales Perform at Aging Conference

    innovationsagingOver 100 members of the Maryland Encore Chorales (Anne Arundel Community College, Schweinhaut Senior Center, Washington Conservatory at Glen Echo, Myerberg Senior Center, Asbury~Solomons, and Maryland residents of the Smithsonian Encore Chorale)  performed at the Maryland Innovations in Aging Conference at the Gaylord Hotel, National Harbour, on May 5th, 2012.  The Chorales gave a rousing performance before an appreciative audience of the conference and tradeshow attendees. Favorites were Rockin' Jerusalem, a Gilbert & Sullivan Medley, When I'm Sixty-Four and and exciting rendition of Battle Hymn of the Republic, which brought many members of the audience to their feet.

    The Maryland Department of Aging, District of Columbia Office on Aging, and the Virginia Department for the Aging conducted  Innovations in Aging 2012. This event featured professional training, an expo, job fair, and walk for professional and consumer audiences.

    The goal of Innovations in Aging 2012 was to showcase new directions for aging policy, programs, supports, and services that promote healthy community living for a lifetime. Highlights will include new technologies and innovative approaches to planning for the future and preparing to age well in the community.

    CLICK HERE TO VIEW A PHOTO SLIDESHOW OF THE PERFORMANCE.