Walt Disney World Cast Member Choir Encore! Prepares for Make-A-Wish Benefit

Encore! Cast Members rehearse for performance © DisneyRehearsals are underway for the Encore! Cast Choir and Orchestra’s summer production, Dream Our Dreams, A Musical Tribute to the Legacy of Disney. Known for staging spectacular charity concerts, the volunteer ensemble has chosen Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central & Northern Florida as their 2010 beneficiary.

Encore! offers Cast Members an outlet for their creativity and a chance to showcase their talents while performing great music for worthy causes. The troupe, founded in 2002, has grown to include roughly 330 singers, 100 instrumentalists, 50 dancers and a production team of 40. Encore! producer Bruce Light says at least half of the group has jobs outside of entertainment and aren’t performers by trade. For all involved, it’s a labor of love.

Since its inception, Encore! has donated the funds from its ticket sales to local charities, raising more than $115,000 to date. The group recognized early on that they could do a lot of good by giving back. “We were getting a good amount of money from ticket sales and we didn’t need it,” said Clay Price, Encore! co-founder, artistic director and conductor. “We thought let’s give it to an organization that is going to benefit from this more than us.”

Each year, Encore! determines its beneficiary by group vote; Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central & Northern Florida is the current recipient of their charitable giving. Past recipients include United Arts of Central Florida, SPCA of Central Florida, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and A Gift For Teaching.

Dream Our Dreams is scheduled for Aug. 6 – 8 at Epcot World ShowPlace. Performances are open to the public. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door and available through www.encorecentral.org.

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