Encore Creativity Resumes In-Person Song

Those over 55 with a passion for music can now practice and perform in person, with precautions.

Betsy Kutscher and Judy Termini sang in their high school choral group, but building their careers and raising their families became a priority and their musical performances became a thing of the past.  

“I missed singing, but between teaching and raising a family I never got around to looking for a choral group to join,” said Kutscher, of Arlington. “I was also intimidated by the idea of auditioning.” 

Kutscher, Termini and other music aficionados who are 55 and older, can fulfill their passion for performing in-person concerts when Encore Creativity for Older Adults, a choral organization for over 55 that does not require auditions, returns to local performance centers including the Lubber Run Community Center in Arlington and Beth El Hebrew Congregation in Alexandria.  

“We are requiring masks and vaccinations and employing three-foot distancing for the singers,” said Joshua Vickery, CEO, Encore Creativity for Older Adults. “We have been following the guidance of Chorus America’s best practices and protocols for choral singing and we have been very diligent about it.” 

With safety precautions in place, some seniors believe that the benefits of practicing and performing in person outweigh risks. 

“I grew tired of virtual rehearsals, and I was excited to get back to singing with my groups,” said Judy Termini of Alexandria. “We got through our fall semester with no COVID cases, and it was just wonderful to be singing together again.”  

Social connections and emotional support are other needs that in-person chorale singing could fulfill. “When I had an aunt with dementia and eventually on the path to her death, ENCORE singing and fellowship once a week was my mental therapy and my escape from being a caregiver,” said Betsy Kutscher. “It always lifted my spirits when we were singing together and learning new music.” 

For those who prefer to sing virtually, Encore is also offering Encore University, a comprehensive online program of singing plus enrichment courses in music history, music theory, dance and movement classes.  

Singers can combine both in-person singing with online classes for a full musical experience.    

This season begins in mid-January.  For more information, visit www.encorecreativity.org  or call 301-261-5747. 

“We are requiring masks and vaccinations and employing three-foot distancing for the singers.” 

— Joshua Vickery, CEO, Encore Creativity for Older Adults.