Chautauqua 2012 Participants Gather Before the Athenaeum Hotel
The fifth annual Encore Institute at Chautauqua was a huge success, with over 80 older adults from around the country in attendance, enjoying creativity in choral singing, dance/movement and theatre. Chautauqua is the perfect location to create and learn under the very best professional teaching artists, allowing participants to perfect their chosen track of singing, movement or theatre, and explore outside of their areas. The faculty included Dr. John Barry Talley, retired Director of Musical Activities at the United States Naval Academy and Encore chorale co-conductor along with Jeanne Kelly, Founder of Encore. Dr. Stu Kandell, Founder of Stagebridge Theatre and David Barnet of the University of Canada directed the theatre students and Shula Strassfeld of The Dance Exchange led the movement students. Peg Barrett, Chautauqua physical education teacher, led the morning movement class along with Shula Strassfeld. Each day began with a movement class, followed by full rehearsals in all areas. Afternoon exploration classes were offered in voice, theatre and movement, followed by full rehearsals. Participants were happily busy learning new technique in their crafts, studying scripts, learning new music, and creating dance pieces. With education the major thrust of the institute, students were also engaged in preparing for their final Encore Institute grand finale concert.
To provide a complete Chautauqua experience, Encore presented the West Shore Piano Trio in performance, brilliantly performing the Debussy Piano Trio, Four Seasons by Astor Piazzolla, and Paul Schoenfield Café Music to a large and very appreciative audience. Encore also took great pleasure in presenting the Young People’s Chorus of Erie in concert. These talented young singers, fresh off the World Choir Games with a Gold and Silver medal, gave an excellent and spirited performance. Shula Strassfeld of Dance Exchange performed a hauntingly beautiful dance outdoors, on the porch of the Athenaeum Hotel. The dance was set on Rachel Carson, the Founder of the contemporary environmental movement.
The Athenaeum Hotel provided accommodations and creative and delectable food for the participants. Every evening the hotel porch provided a lovely setting for participants to enjoy wine and splendid views overlooking the lake...a perfect end to perfect days.
The grand finale concert was a fabulous ending to six days of learning and creating. The singers performed “Amanti Constanti” from The Marriage of Figaro by W.A Mozart, O Light, Awaken by Mark Patterson, “Appalachian Celebration” incorporation Wildwoon Flower, He’s Gone Away and Sourwood Mountain arranged by Earlene Rentz, and “And So I Sing” by Linda Spevacek. Their choral sound was rich and beautiful and the singers performed with energy and passion and brilliant articulation.The theatre students presented varied and excellent scenes to the delight of all. And the movement students danced their creative pieces with passion and grace.All the participants joined forces for grand performance of “Westside Story” selections arranged by Dr. John B. Talley. The performance was electrifying. It was truly a memorable experience for students, instructors and the large appreciative audience. There could not have been a better way to end our Encore Institute at Chautauqua.
VIEW PHOTO GALLERY (PART 1) HERE
VIEW PHOTO GALLERY (PART 2) HERE