Prize Pack Sponsors - A Galaxy Far, Far Away

Dear Members,

This week we will be announcing the prizes that will be offered by the businesses that have generously donated gift certificates and products for the "A Galaxy Far, Far Away" prize pack: Buckets Ice Cream, Pizza Factory Richmond, Village Bikes, Lansdowne Centre and Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks.  

We would obviously like to show them that teaming up with ROCA is good for business, so please consider visiting and subscribing to the Facebook event page and liking their featured posts.  We will be featuring one sponsor each day this week. 

Facebook - A Galaxy Far, Far Away Event Page


Social Media: Invite Friends to Events

Dear Members,

ROCA needs some social media muscle from its members for Bizet, Ibert & Beethoven and A Galaxy Far, Far Away.  In addition to promoting the events online, we are also trying to attract new sponsors for the June concert as well as for next season.  It would be great if you would consider inviting your Facebook friends to the next two concerts and also consider following the event yourselves for exclusive info (pictures, prizes, etc.) and for the promo codes (June concert).  

Here's a brief tutorial on how to invite your friends to an event on our Facebook Page.

PDF - Invite your friends to a Facebook event


Interesting Article

Please find below an interesting article from Charles Cohen in the Chorus regarding singing into retirement. Although its focus is that singing (and playing an instrument??) as you age is very beneficial, I think the article also reminds us how beneficial, not to mention fun and rewarding, making music at any age can be.

25/02/2018 Singing Their Way Through Retirement - The New York Times


Singing Their Way Through Retirement


WASHINGTON — When retirees settle into life after work, an inevitable question arises: What kinds of commitments can still be made to friends, neighbors and organizations?

In the nation’s capital, more than 1,000 retirees have found a convincing answer: singing.

The nonprofit Encore Creativity for Older Adults chorale program is the largest in the country for people over 55, with more than 1,100 singers and 21 choral groups in the Washington metro area and more than 700 singers in five other states (two new programs will open in New York in March).

What started in 2007 as three choruses has blossomed into hundreds of singers ringing the District, belting out music from Broadway and the Great American Songbook. This year, the D.C.-area groups will combine to perform at the Kennedy Center’s concert hall the day after Christmas.

Its founder and director, Jeanne Kelly, a former classical singer, led a three-year study conducted by George Washington University that observed 150 singers older than 55. She found that participants in professionally led choral programs take fewer medications, experience less depression and make fewer visits to doctors.

“You’ve given so much of yourself, said Debbie DeLone, a retiree in Encore’s downtown Washington chorale group. “Now you’re singing, and people are listening to you. You feel like: Wow, here I am.” 1/4

25/02/2018 Singing Their Way Through Retirement - The New York Times

Here is a look at four other retirees who have turned to singing to give their lives a new feeling, and meaning.

Howard Smith, 89

Mr. Smith is one of the oldest members of Encore. After working as a foreign service officer at the State Department for decades, he retired and moved into Goodwin House, a continuing care facility in Falls Church, Va. Even while working at the highest levels of diplomacy in Congo, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Mexico, he had a nagging impulse to sing. He remembers being a young boy watching his mother perform on stage, wanting to know how it felt to make people happy with music.

When he retired from the government, he worried that pursuing a career in music was a lost cause. Encore helped renew his enthusiasm.

“Music is life,” he said. “I know that if I keep going to rehearsals for what we’re doing this coming season, that everything will be fulfilled. It’s what I really wanted to do. I didn’t have that opportunity professionally, but I’ve had it here.”

Even after he stopped driving, he maintained a full life at Goodwin House apart from the Encore rehearsals there: as a bingo caller, as a fund-raiser for holiday gifts for the staff, as a founder of a group that gathers to read plays together.

“Singing to me is the best medicine,” he said. “It makes you want to live a little longer.”

Tom Hoppin, 79

Mr. Hoppin is a sailor and member of the Annapolis area’s branch of Encore. He moved from Washington to a cottage in Shady Side, Md., after he retired as a banker and employee at a research firm that studied aging.

He has examined the ways singing improves physiological and mental health. His home on the water is small, so he uses his car and its sound system to practice his part along with CD recordings of Encore’s arrangements. 2/4

25/02/2018 Singing Their Way Through Retirement - The New York Times

“It’s a little like going to the gym in that you’re learning how to breathe better and bend over better and stretch your muscles better,” he said. “People increase the range of their voices, start being able to hit high notes.”

Mr. Hoppin sings with former staff members of the Naval Academy and NASA, and with several widows who tell him that singing has helped them recover from loss. “We are mutually dependent on one another,” he said. “There’s a sense of reliance.”

And, he added, “There’s always an element of the spiritual side, in the sense that we’re living out of our own selves into a creative art.”

Liz Diamond, 71

“I’ve always been a bit of a ham and a bit of a show-off,” said Ms. Diamond, a former Alzheimer’s Association employee who came to Washington from Britain in 1979.

She is part of Encore’s chapter in Glen Echo, Md. Singing has helped convince her of the importance of community-building in retirement, of living a home life rich with the arts. It has also clarified to her what feels most meaningful about a life in the United States.

“Having those commitments in retirement is important,” she said.

Her choral group also allows her to make new friends. The kinds of careers specific to Washington mean they always have something to talk about.

“If you threw a stone in our chorus, somebody has written a book or done something rather important with their lives,” she said.

At home, she uses a bedroom to practice her parts for Encore.

“I have to go in there and screech my head off,” she said. “The cat leaves the room in disgust.”

Tony Tambasco, 78 3/4

25/02/2018 Singing Their Way Through Retirement - The New York Times

Mr. Tambasco’s home study is full of texts he used as a religious studies professor at Georgetown University, where he taught for 35 years. When he joined Encore, his academic haven turned into one for music. He set up a Bose sound system that he uses to rehearse his parts.

Counting notes in the music has helped keep his mind sharp, and has brought out a new side of him.

“We’re singing a piece now that says, ‘viva la musica,’” he said. “It’s a piece that’s very melodic. I get choked up when I’m singing it sometimes. It’s hard to even sing it because I feel like I want to tear up in the middle of it.”

The music “has an effect on mind and heart,” he said, adding, “It makes for a happy life.”

A version of this article appears in print on March 4, 2018, on Page F6 of the New York edition with the headline: Singing Their Way Through Retirement.

© 2018 The New York Times Company 4/4






A big thank you to everybody who sold tickets and/or attended the Night at the Metro last week.  After deducting costs we made just over $1500 from the evening!

If you have any comments about the evening (good or bad!) please email me at so I can pass them on the the board as we move forward with other fundraising ideas.

As you know ROCA must show evidence of fundraising on any grant application we make.  So if you have ideas or thoughts for future fundraising ventures please let me know. Or if you are in the orchestra, Robert Bridson will be glad to take your ideas as well. 

Countdown to Night at the Metro

Many thanks to everybody who sold tickets for this fundraiser.  It should be a fun show!

If you still need to buy tickets they are available on-line.  Here are two links you can use to  send out one last push to your friends and family and/or buy tickets directly through VTIX.




Are you getting all the information you should be getting?

Many ROCA members think that if they have signed up for the ROCA members' blog, they automatically receive all the information which comes out from Meghan and the ROCA office.  But you ALSO have to subscribe to the e-newsletter which comes out quite regularly with information regarding upcoming concerts and other events, like the Night at the Metro.  In the future we hope to combine the two for our members, but until then please scroll down to the bottom of the ROCA website home page and enter the required information to subscribe to the e-newsletter.  This will ensure you are receiving all pertinent information.



Volunteers Needed: To Move Timpani

Dear Members,

I require some assistance in moving the timpani for the Rising Stars concert and was hoping that someone with a van or large vehicle could help out.

Here are the details:

February 13 - Move timpani from storage room to Fraserview before the orchestra rehearsal
February 19 or any day after - Move timpani from Fraserview to the storage room

If you are available, please let me know.  I would very much appreciate the help!  Thanks!

Office: 604-276-2747


Huge Effort Needed Now!! Night at the Metro

Night at the Metro.  Wednesday, January 31st at the Metro Theatre, 1370 Marine Drive SW, Vancouver

Hi Orchestra, Chorus and Board Members

We really need folks to get out and sell tickets for this fundraiser.  The proceeds go to benefit both groups and are an important part of our budget this year.  ROCA will have to absorb the costs of unsold tickets.

So please SELL! SELL! SELL!  Tickets only $20.

Here's a synopsis of what the play's about.  Looks like fun!

Crisp, witty, exchanges of dialogue fill this inventive Britsh thriller.  A writer’s wife wants to divorce him, but he has no intention of doing so.  Full of exciting twists and turns as each character, writer, wife, publisher, secretary and neighbour turn the tables on each other.  Who are the victims and who are the killers?  This is a plot that will keep you guessing until the very end.