Encore Creativity’s Sentimental Journey Singers Comes to the Bender JCC in Rockville, MD
Choir for those with early to moderate Alzheimer’s and Memory Struggles
Annapolis, Md. – (January 27, 2020) – Encore Creativity for Older Adults, the nation’s largest choral organization for adults over 55, will offer its second choir for adults diagnosed with early to moderate Alzheimer’s disease and other memory struggles at the Bender Jewish Community Center, 6125 Montrose Road in Rockville, Md. The choir, Sentimental Journey Singers, will run for eight weeks on Mondays, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., from March 9th to April 27th, 2020 in the JCC Art Gallery. All singers must participate with a care partner. An Open House to learn more about the program will take place Monday, February 10th from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Participants will learn vocal techniques and three-part harmony while singing familiar songs and new pieces in a social group setting under the leadership of conductor Dr. Mary Ann East, also a performer and teacher and founder of Capital Harmonia, and pianist Rachel Thompson, a board-certified music therapist who works with adults with cognitive impairments and dementia. Sheet music and a CD will be provided so participants can practice at home. The program will culminate in a performance, Saturday, May 2nd at 1 p.m., at the JCC Social Hall. Tuition is $104 and $25 for care partners. Registration is open now at www.encorecreativity.org
Both East and Thompson led the inaugural Sentimental Journey Singers last fall at Insight Memory Care Center in Fairfax, Va. The program was so successful that Jeanne Kelly, Founder and Artistic Director of Encore Creativity, decided to start a second choir in Rockville. “Our unofficial motto is sing for life,” said Kelly, noting that the Sentimental Journey Singers’ holiday concert in Fairfax this past December was filled with joy. “Encore encourages all to benefit from participating in the arts, regardless of experience or ability, and those affected by diseases such as Alzheimer’s are no exception.”
“I have seen firsthand how music helps people of all ages to more fully enjoy life,” said Donna King, Senior Director of Adult Programs at the Bender JCC. “We are very excited to start this new relationship with Encore Creativity for Older Adults and look forward to hearing some beautiful music from the Sentimental Journey Singers.”
Singing can benefit the brain and may aid those with memory issues. Dr. Laura Mosqueda, Dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC and a widely respected authority of geriatric medicine and care of the elderly, explained that because music affects so many areas of the brain, it may enlighten pathways and areas not yet affected by disease. Some patients who have seemingly lost memory and the ability of speech do respond to memories of music, even participating in its making.
The Bender JCC is an all-inclusive community – from the people it serves to the programs it offers – rooted in Jewish values. The JCC connects people through high-quality programs for all ages, backgrounds and interests. It is a place for growing, learning and friendship. It is a place for belonging. Learn more at benderjccgw.org, on Facebook (facebook.com/benderjcc), and on Twitter (@BenderJCC
Founded in 2007, Encore Creativity for Older Adults, an Annapolis, Md- nonprofit, offers 23 choral ensembles in Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia and New York City plus summer camp and international tour opportunities. For more information and registration, visit www.encorecreativity.org or call 301-261-5747.
Photo: E. David Luria Photography