Help ROCA Thrive!!

**Has the Richmond Orchestra or Chorus played an important part in your life?

**Have you generally enjoyed the path the organization has taken, yet feel that we still need to consider a variety of ideas in order to move forward and remain a vibrant and relevant organization?

**Are you at a point in your life when you could contribute a few hours a week to ROCA?

This fall, two of the ROCA directors, Bill Maranda and Cathy Bayley will be stepping down from the board.  The board is looking for  2 or more people to join the board as members-at-large.   

What expectations are there of our board members?

ROCA board members typically attend one 2-hour board meeting a month, currently on a Wednesday.  Board members also attend all events/concerts of the organization as they are able. We also need new board members prepared to work in an area of specific interest to them.   

If you are interested in joining the ROCA board, or would simply like more information,  please contact Cathy Bayley at  or 604-946-5132 (after June 25).

Also, if you know of someone in the community who you feel may be interested in this opportunity please contact Cathy with their information and she will contact them directly. 

Do you have any Star Wars gear?

James is getting into the spirit of A Galaxy Far, Far Away and wants to dress up!  Do you have a Darth Vader costume, Obi Wan Kenobi costume or perhaps a light saber that he could borrow for the show?

If so, send an email back to the office at or send an email directly to James.

Thanks and May the Force Be With You!

Volunteers Needed for June 2nd!

Dear Members,

We are looking for several volunteers for A Galaxy Far, Far Away on June 2nd. If you're a chorus member and would like to volunteer or know someone that might be interested, please send me an email at

Here are some of the volunteer positions that need to be filled:

- 3 x ticket scanners
- 1 x person to oversee the projector
- 2 x volunteers to greet/direct guests

Thank you,

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.