Encore!! Not just another song

Growing up with a musician father (and musical mother), I played violin, piano, and sang in choruses through college. Although there were performances every year, it was not so scary being part of a large group. I was happy to be in an  ensemble and loved making music together. For many years since then, I had missed being part of a chorus, and was considering local options when my Zumba teacher and a fellow classmate suggested I join their group, Encore, so named because it’s the second time around being part of a performing arts group for many of the members. I decided to kick up my heels and join. Their slogan “Better Than Expected” made me chuckle, and took the pressure off.

I have long known the magic a well oiled team creates. This is true in any workplace, where people are clear what their roles are, everyone feels free to contribute new or unexpected ideas, and each team member carries out their respective roles. The same is true when that team is creating music, theater, dance or …an adult glee club.

What I couldn’t have known was just how much fun it would be—whether learning vocal parts, dance moves, or putting them together. It was all time out of time, totally absorbing during every rehearsal. We mostly learned our parts on our own, getting together only Sunday evenings until tech week. But during the early stages, cast members could speak up if it felt like one vocal was too overpowering (or not enough), or if some of the dance steps didn’t jive with the music.

This group, ranging in age from 32-66 created a family of performers who support each other, cheer each other on, and delight in the joy of song and dance. As someone who grew up with sheet music in hand to learn my part, it was an interesting challenge to learn mostly by wrote, and by keeping a sharp ear to hear how the parts blended.

I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to perform with this delightful group of mostly full time workers, parents, and people with various levels of training and background in theater. Guided by the passion and unflagging enthusiasm of the director of theater and her team of talented choreographers and music directors, one attendee remarked that now in its eleventh season the group has gone from “Better than Expected” to “Better than Ever.”

Will I join again next year? I hope so, but I don’t know. I also have an invitation to visit elephants in India. But when the radio’s on, I’m listening to decide whether each song would make an appropriate audition piece, wondering what we’ll choose for our accent color to compliment our outfits in black, and dancing in the supermarket when our songs come on.  

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About Meg

Meg is a licensed independent clinical social worker with over thirty-five years clinical experience. She holds a Master’s Degree from the Boston University School of Social Work and a Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York at Binghamton.