Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Dear Encore Creativity Singers,

We’ve been hard at work selecting pieces for Spring 2024 that bring the fun of singing with the joy of spring. For the spring season of rehearsals beginning January 8, 2024, we will be singing:

CHORALE (in program order)

  • Opening, Bob Chilcott 
  • Don’t Get Around Much Anymore, Duke Ellington, arr. Jay Althouse
  • Va Pensiero (from Nabucco), Giuseppi Verdi, arr. Patrick K. Liebergen
  • Music of Life, B.E. Boykin
  • Viva! (from Il re postore), W.A. Mozart, arr. Patrick K. Liebergen
  • When Dreams Take Flight, Rollo Dilworth
  • You’re the Top (from Anything Goes), Cole Porter, arr. Mark Hayes
  • The Gift to Sing, Marianne Forman
  • The Sound of Music (Choral Highlights), Rodgers and Hammerstein, arr. John Leavitt

Our Spring 24 Encore Chorale programming begins appropriately with a new work called Opening by famed British composer Bob Chilcott. Within, Chilcott sets a Charles Bennett text asking us to ‘bless the way that spring begins after winter’s cold’ and to ‘bless the things that let me go’ – a welcome message as we look to the changing season with hope for warmth, peace, and renewal.

We swing back to the era of Duke Ellington with a vibrant arrangement of his standard Don’t Get Around Much Anymore before shifting to a stirring arrangement of Giuseppi Verdi’s Va Pensiero (from his opera ‘Nabucco’). Also known as the “Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves,” Va Pensiero opens with the stirring words ‘Fly, my thoughts, on wings of gold;’ and speaks of a home where ‘soft and mild, the sweet airs … smell fragrant.’

B.E. Boykin, a native of Alexandria, Virginia, brings us her Music of Life, a gentle reflection on the immense impact of music before we turn to another “young” composer with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Viva! Composed in 1775 when Mozart was just 19 years old, Viva! Is the triumphant finale to his opera ‘Il re pastore.’

Rollo Dillworth’s When Dreams Take Flight is a rolling Gospel work, with poetry by Paul Laurence Dunbar, one of the first African American poets to gain national prominence and recognition. And of course, everyone will recognize the effervescent You’re the Top from Cole Porter’s ‘Anything Goes,’ which precedes Mariane Forman’s lush The Gift to Sing.

We close our Spring 24 programming with a medley of choral highlights from Rogers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music. Featured within are Do-Re-Mi, The Lonely Goatherd, My Favorite Things, and The Sound of Music.   

ROCKS (in program order)

  • Tell Her About It, Billy Joel, arr. Jack Zaino
  • Every Breath You Take, Sting / The Police, arr. Mark Brymer
  • Superstition, Stevie Wonder, arr. Kirby Shaw
  • Commissioned Arrangement – Peggy Sue, Jerry Allison, Norman Petty, and Buddy Holly, arr. Jeff Dokken
  • You’ve Got a Friend, Carole King, arr. Mac Huff
  • Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, arr. Roger Emerson
  • Commissioned Arrangement – Margaritaville, Jimmy Buffett, arr. Jeff Dokken
  • Mamma Mia!, ABBA, arr. Mac Huff

Billy Joel’s 1983 #1 hit Tell Her About It kicks off our Spring 24 ROCKS programming this semester and is sure to be a crowd pleaser! Released on his album ‘An Innocent Man,’ Tell Her About It was certified gold by RIAA with total US sales exceeding 500,000 copies.

We then move onto two chart-topping tunes, Every Breath You Take by Sting/The Police and Stevie Wonder’s Superstition before premiering one of two commissioned arrangements written by our very own ROCKS conductor Jeff Dokken. Jeff’s arrangement of the 1957 hit Peggy Sue, by Buddy Holly, is “up-tempo and high-energy” and we’re thrilled that he agreed to be our featured ROCKS arranger this season as we prioritize bringing our singers accessible, exciting, and new ROCKS repertoire each season.

Carole King’s uplifting You’ve Got a Friend follows with its universal message of hope and reassurance. Written in 1971, You’ve Got a Friend was first included in King’s second studio album ‘Tapestry,’ and was made additionally well-known by singer-songwriter James Taylor. And Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s Ain’t No Mountain High Enough leads us into Jeff Dokken’s second commissioned arrangement of the semester, Margaritaville.  This 1977 hit by American singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett made its first appearance on his album ‘Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes’ and reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100.

We close our ROCKS programming this semester with a much-requested medley from the jukebox rock musical, ‘Mama Mia,’ featuring hits by the Swedish group ABBA. Featured within are Have a Dream, Mamma Mia, S. O. S., Take a Chance on Me, Thank You for the Music, Dancing Queen, and Waterloo.


  • Scarborough Fair, arr. Michael Higgins
  • Down by the Riverside, arr. Joyce Eilers
  • High Hopes, arr. Ed Lojeski
  • Always Sing Your Song, Victor C. Johnson
  • Sentimental Journey, arr. Hawley Ades

Sentimental Journey Singers will take us on a journey through all kinds of vocal classics.

Starting with a 17th century tune, Scarborough Fair. Made famous today by Simon and Garfunkel, the tale of unrequited love, a young man sets tasks for his beloved to complete before she returns to him.

Next, we journey to pre-Civil War America and the spiritual Down By the Riverside that declares “I ain’t gonna study war no more.”

Originally recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1959, High Hopes reminds us to always think positive in times of challenge.

Each of us has a unique voice and story to tell. Composer Víctor C. Johnson invites us to “Keep a melody in your heart your whole life long, and always, always sing your song.”

As always we will close with our namesake song, Sentimental Journey.