Capital One Hall Welcomes Encore Creativity for Older Adults For Grand Concert 

Keith Loria Around Town, Art & Culture

Encore Creativity for Older Adults, the largest choral arts organization in the country for people aged 55 and over, will see some of its members from across the country come together for a grand celebration and performance at Capital One Hall beginning at 3 p.m. on May 4.

The event features singers from Encore Chorales, Encore ROCKS, and Sentimental Journey Singers ensembles, performing a vibrant mix of choral classics, rock & roll arrangements, and well-loved vocal pieces that bring light and joy. 

“We will feature about 400 of our singers,” said Brian Fontaine-Isaac, artistic director of Encore Creativity for Older Adults. “Our mission is to uplift the musical journey of people over the age of 55, creating meaningful arts experiences for them.” 

Founded in 2007 following an NEA and NIH-funded study demonstrating the health benefits of choral singing for older adults, 

“That study did a great job showcasing that there are tremendous physical and emotional benefits to singing in a choral arts program,” Fontaine-Isaac said. “What we see, almost more than any other aspect of health and wellness, is that our programing, building community through singing, really combats loneliness and inspires connection.” 

Encore Creativity for Older Adults has 43 ensembles and over 1,600 singers nationwide, from Santa Clarita, CA, to Washington, D.C. Their offerings include traditional choral groups, ROCKS ensembles performing rock & roll hits from the ’50s onwards, and Arts for Life programs that use music to connect individuals experiencing cognitive changes with their care partners.

“We bring people together to make beautiful music together,” Fontaine-Isaac said. “And throughout the United States, we invite them to these events, such as the Capital One event coming up.” 

The Capitol One Hall concert will feature many of the local choirs from D.C. and Maryland, but people will be flying in from as far as California as well.

“One of the neat things about Encore Creativity, is that whether you are in a chorale in California or New York or North Carolina, I selected the music, so they are all learning and singing the same music,” Fontaine-Isaac said. “When we get people together on a great stage like Capital One, we have this great presentation that can incorporate a wide range of our members.”

The show will open with the Encore ROCKS program, and that will include a number of big rock hits through the years, including songs such as Billy Joel’s “Tell Her About It,” The Police’s “Every Breath You Take,” and Stevie Wonder’s “Superstitious.”

There will also be some commissioned arrangements, written just for the Encore singers, and those include Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaretville” and Buddy Holly’s 1957 hit, “Peggy Sue.”

“We slow things down a little bit with Carole King’s ‘You’ve Got a Friend,’ Marvin Gaye’s ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ and then we have a medley from ‘Mama Mia,’ the jukebox musical featuring songs of Abba,” Fontaine-Isaac said.

The rock section will close out with “Ole Time Rock & Roll” by Bob Segar and the Silver Bullet Band, and that will lead the singers to intermission.

For the second act, the Sentimental Journey ensemble singers will hit the stage, and these are folks who are dealing with cognitive change, and they will sing alongside their care partners at the show. 

“They will do a 17th century tune, ‘Scarborough Fair’ by Simon & Garfunkel, ‘High Hopes’ and the tune where the ensemble gets its name, which is incredibly recognizable and has become the calling card of this ensemble,” Fontaine-Isaac said.

To close the program, the main chorales will perform, opening with a new work by famed British composer Bob Chilcott, followed by Duke Ellington’s “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” and Giuseppe Verdi’s “Va Pensiero” from the opera “Nabucco.” 

Alexandria’s own B.E. Boykin wrote the next selection, “Music of Life,” and she is expected to attend the concert and see her composition performed.

“We’ll do a little Mozart, a little Cole Porter and we’re going to close out with ‘The Sound of Music’ medley,” Fontaine-Isaac said. “People should come out and hear the great work of these singers, they are going to put on a great show. 

For tickets or more information, visit www.capitalonehall.com.