WRFA’s Jason Sample talks with Jeanne Kelly, founder and director of the Maryland-based Encore Creativity for Older Adults program. The program will be participating in a series of free performances at Chautauqua Institution’s Lenna Hall the week of Aug. 26, 2019.
A dynamic performance by a world-renowned percussionist and a highly acclaimed tenor and soprano will take the stage at Lenna Hall in a series of free concerts for the public presented by Encore Creativity for Older Adults during the 12th Annual Summer Institute at Chautauqua Institution.
These celebrated guest artists, who have captivated audiences across the globe, will entertain music lovers at Chautauqua and also inspire the participants of Encore’s Summer Institute, who after a week of training and rehearsing, will sing in a concert of their own, also open to the public. Encore welcomes the local community at these three eclectic events at no charge.
Like fun summer camps – only designed for adults – Encore Creativity’s Summer Institute at Chautauqua, one of three programs offered nationally, opens up a new world for both seasoned and new singers in their later years, often filling a void, creating a new community of friends and bringing back fond childhood memories. “We aim to provide an unparalleled experience for our singers where they can learn, perform, enjoy picturesque Chautauqua, bond with friends old and new and share their passion for music with others,” said Jeanne Kelly, Encore’s Founder and Artistic Director. “Our concerts with distinguished guest artists enrich that experience and also provide something very special for the community.”
Not to be missed is a performance like no other on Monday, August 26 at 7:30 p.m. featuring Tom Teasley, solo percussionist, composer and collaborator, who is described in the Washington Post as “a multi-instrumental genius.” Mr. Teasley has been an artist-in-residence at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and has collaborated with the National Symphony as both a soloist and composer. A six-time recipient of a Fulbright-Hayes grant for performances in the Middle East, he has collaborated with indigenous musicians and gave historic performances by invitation of U.S. embassies. Mr. Teasley, who has produced eight highly praised CDs, has also performed by invitation in Europe, South America, New Zealand, Samoa and Korea. A winner of numerous awards, he’s a three-time Helen Hayes Theatre Award recipient for outstanding sound design and four-time WAMA (Washington Area Music Award) World Music Instrumentalist of the Year.
The audience will be in for a double treat when tenor Matthew Hill and soprano Amy Broadbent perform together on Tuesday, August 27 at 7:30 p.m. singing Oh Happy We from Bernstein’s Candide, Loewe’s On the Street Where You Live from My Fair Lady, Donizetti’s Nocturne from Don Pasquale and many other Broadway and classical favorites. A Washington, D.C.-based soloist and ensemble singer, Mr. Hill performs regularly with the American Bach Soloists, Washington Bach Consort, and Washington National Cathedral Choirs and is a member of the United States Air Force Band Singing Sergeants. Ms. Broadbent, also Washington, D.C.-based, has garnered recognition as a versatile performer who excels in everything from the concert stage to chamber music to opera. According to Washington Classical Review, she sings “with consummate poise, limpid clarity, and faultless intonation.” She is currently a vocalist and assistant conductor of the official chorus of the United States Navy, the Sea Chanters, with the rank of Musician 1st Class. Both singers are frequent award winners with impressive credits as soloists in leading roles in top operas at major performing arts theaters in Washington, D.C. and beyond. Distinguished pianist and award-winner Maribeth Gowen, who will accompany this recital on piano, has performed as a soloist with major symphonies across the country and summer chamber music festivals worldwide. She has also appeared on public television’s Debut series.
Encore singers at Chautauqua, who hail from across the nation, will gather together for the Summer Institute’s grand finale concert on Friday, August 30 at 2 p.m. singing a varied repertoire of favorite compositions by Frank Loesser, Nat King Cole, Schubert and others. This performance will be conducted by Ingrid Lestrud and Jeanne Kelly. Ms. Lestrud currently serves as the Principal Associate Conductor for the National Children’s Chorus in Washington, D.C., and her choirs perform at major concert halls throughout the country. In addition to being Encore’s Founder and Artistic Director, Ms. Kelly has maintained a diverse career spanning over 40 years as a vocal performer, teacher, conductor and music administrator. Her extensive background includes performing major roles at opera houses across the country, conducting the Women’s Glee Club at the United States Naval Academy, maintaining a private voice studio and serving as Executive Director of the Houston Conservatory of Music.
Founded in 2007, Encore Creativity for Older Adults is a Maryland-based nonprofit dedicated to providing an arts education and performance opportunities for adults over 55. With 21 ensembles across the nation, Encore is America’s largest and fastest-growing choral organization serving older adults. For more information, call 301-261-5747 or visit www.encorecreativity.org/.