Anne Arundel-Based Nonprofit Offers Fun for Older Adults
“Retired? What are you doing for an encore?” That’s the question posed by Encore Creativity for Older Adults founder and director, Jeanne Kelly. While she was director of the Arlington, Virginia, campus of the Levine School of Music, Kelly led three older adult choral groups – average age 72 – in a George Washington University study on creativity and aging. The study results, which captured na¬tional and international attention, showed that the chorale members enjoyed an over¬all improvement in their physical and mental health. It also inspired Kelly, a resident of Tracy’s Landing, Maryland, to launch Encore two years ago.
Encore has grown to eight chorales and one dance program for adults over the age of 55 in Maryland, Virginia, Washington and most recently, Ohio. In September, Encore will be partnering with Anne Arundel Community College’s Center on Aging to establish the first Encore Chorale in Anne Arundel County.
“We have always wanted to start a local chorale,” Jeanne Kelly said. Anne Arundel Community College has been very supportive of our program and I’m delighted to be working with them. All of our chorales are open to anyone over the age of 55, without audition. We have 15 weeks of rehearsals, followed by a series of concerts in high visibility locations. This past year, all of our chorales, over 200 singers, combined for a performance at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage.”
This summer will be a busy one for Encore. “We’ll be conducting two ‘sleepaway’ choral camps for older adults,” Kelly said. “The first will be at St. Mary’s College of Maryland June 16–20 and later in the summer we’ll be at the famed Chautauqua Institution in New York, Aug. 31–Sept. 4. We held these camps last year and the participants had a ball. We’re planning bigger and better this year.”
Sandwiched between the camps will be the highlight of Encore’s summer program – a “Singing at Sea” cruise from New York City to Southampton, England, July 6-12 aboard the luxurious Queen Mary 2. Kelly said, “We were honored to be invited by Cunard to bring our program onboard this famous ship at amazingly affordable rates. In six days, we’ll turn a group of older singers into a polished ensemble and perform a concert for the passengers.”
For more information, call Encore at (301) 261-5747, or visit Encore’s Web site at www.encorecreativity.org
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