Santa Clarita’s Encore Chorale, a nonprofit musical arts program for seniors, invites adults 55 and older to join the spring 2017 semester. Repertoire is a mix of Broadway & rock, from Jersey Boys to Beatles, tunes from the Great American Songbook, and more. SCV’s Encore Chorale debuted in fall 2014 as one of the newest affiliates of the national Encore Creativity for Older Adults, the largest, fastest growing choral program for adults over age 55 in the nation.
Kickoff rehearsal is Friday, January 6, 2017, continuing for 14 Fridays, 4-5:30 p.m. (plus half-hour sectional rehearsals TBD). The 15-week semester climaxes with a free public concert on Friday, May 5. Rehearsals and concert are at the Newhall Church of the Nazarene, 23857 The Old Road (near Calgrove and I-5). A modest semester “tuition” helps cover costs; introductory rehearsal is free.
Encore Creativity for Older Adults sprang from a National Endowment for the Arts study on involvement in the arts and its effects on the physical, mental, and social health of older adults. In fall 2001, Jeanne Kelly, professional conductor, opera singer & educator in the D.C. area, began a chorale program for the NEA study. In 2006 NEA’s report, “Creativity and Aging” detailed substantial benefits to participants and captured national attention on CBS News with Dan Rather, in U.S. News and World Report, and 400+ newspapers worldwide. In 2007 Kelly created the nonprofit Encore Creativity for Older Adults to provide “an excellent and accessible artistic environment for older adults, 55 and over, regardless of experience or ability”. Today dozens of Encore Chorales perform in the Baltimore/D.C. area and more are affiliating across the U.S.
Cheri Walters, new conductor of the SCV Encore Chorale, is a 30-year resident of Santa Clarita. Walters produced and directed the SCV’s Living Christmas Tree, the valley’s largest free holiday music/drama production for 12 seasons. From 1988-1999, a community choir & actors performed for audiences of 1,100 – 3,500 at venues including Hart High School and Magic Mountain. “I’m excited and honored to be part of Encore Chorale this season,” Walters said. “It’s a great program for seniors and we’re going to have a lot of fun.”