Encore Creativity bands together a community of DMV singers.
Whether an alto, tenor or somewhere in between, Encore Creativity has a spot for singers 55 and older.
The collective of choruses—which is concentrated in Northern Virginia, Maryland and D.C. but spans the country with affiliates in California, Colorado, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania—brings together singers for vocal lessons and performances. The organization aims to bolster music education for all ages, and its choruses now encompass more than 1,000 singers who make up colorful and carefully rehearsed ensembles.
Encore doesn’t require a specific experience level or musical ability from its participants, accepting all who are interested (even those looking to get over stage fright) and offering a welcoming, communal experience.
There are roughly 20 Encore groups across the DMV. Eight of them are based in Northern Virginia with locations in Alexandria, Arlington, Lansdowne, Fairfax and Reston.
Jeffery Elefante has been a member of the Alexandria Encore Chorale since last fall. He was previously a member of a different singing group but prefers the flexibility and welcoming atmosphere Encore offers. Elefante says the ensemble’s director, Jeffrey Dokken, is an added asset for the Alexandria vocalists, saying the singers can learn a great deal at rehearsals and with at-home practice using sheet music and CDs that come with signing up.
And while Elefante had previous musical experience (he trained as a singer in high school and college), those totally new to singing are welcome, and Elefante says all skill levels can benefit from the training Encore provides.
Interested singers can register to join an Encore chorus between now and the second week of September. Most groups then rehearse and perform in concerts later in the year.
Registration, which can be done online or by phone at 301-261-5747, is $175 per person, which covers rehearsals, performances, sheet music and practice CDs.