’83 Orphenians Ride The Chariot — Again

Most high school reunions include lots of laughter, drinking, reminiscing, drinking and dancing. Plus drinking.

The Staples Class of 1983 — well, some of them — added singing.

Thanks to current choral director Luke Rosenberg, they didn’t have to rely on (perhaps) fading memories. He provided Roger Wolfe with music.

Before last night’s big event, former members of the elite a cappella group got together at the Westport Inn to bring back their favorite songs —  including the famous, always-concert-ending “Ride the Chariot” spiritual.

It was a blast. Click here for a video of the Orphenians — 30 years later.

Among the Orphenians participating in the reunion songfest: susan Baer, Kristen Gehr Carley, Anne Burke Conley, Lisa Jones, Jack Rose, Sara Schapiro, Elizabeth Owens Wakefield, Cahterine Webster, Andy Weeks, David Witzel and Roger Wolfe

Orphenians at the reunion songfest included Susan Baer, Kristen Gehr Carley, Anne Burke Conley, Lisa Jones, Jack Rose, Sara Schapiro, Elizabeth Owens Wakefield, Cahterine Webster, Andy Weeks, David Witzel and Roger Wolfe.

10 responses to “’83 Orphenians Ride The Chariot — Again

  1. Scott E. Brodie

    Still a show-stopper after all these years. The Orphs have been singing “Ride the Chariot” since at least the mid-1960s (when I first heard them). When I got to Staples in the late ’60s, the sheet music was already falling apart!
    What a great tradition.

    Scott Brodie (Orphenians, 1968-’70)

  2. Lucinda Mirk Setnicka

    Have to agree with Scott – it was a thrill and honor to sing with that group…I may even have that blazer buried around somewhere…if not the blazer, at least the Orphenian patch! Kudos to Staples for giving so many of us such a solid musical foundation -still singing to this day!
    Lucinda Mirk Setnicka, Class of ’70.

  3. carissa keepin

    Sounds fabulous! Great momories also from Orphenians ’71!!!

  4. Sheri Yanell Malin

    So many great memories and talent…it was such an honor to be apart of this special singing group…Class of 1977
    P.S. – Those 1983 sopranos still sound awesome!!!

  5. I just returned from my 50th high school reunion in a small farming/mill town in upstate New York. To say there no moment at my reunion that came close to the level of talent and sophistication as demonstrated in that video is a gross understatement. If you do not believe me, just ask my wife.

  6. I have to second Scott’s and Lucinda’s emotion. There was something about that sound that was addictive. Got me stuck on the a capella path
    all the way to the Whiffenpoofs! What’s the word on Mr. Weigel? He WAS the Orphenians. At least to me.

  7. Lucinda Mirk Setnicka

    I agree with Marc about Mr. Weigel – he was just so wonderful. He needs to know how much he inspired all of us to continue our vocal careers. I heard he is still with us – any way to get in touch?

  8. Linda Gramatky Smith

    George Weigel is still listed as living at 10 Robin Hill Road (off Greens Farms Rd) in Westport on whitepages.com with his phone number listed. I bet he’d love to get some cards or calls sharing your memories of the Orphenians AND what he created! As a 1960 Staples grad, I wasn’t in the Orphenians, but I did get back in touch with fabulous Staples English teacher V. Louise Higgins (living at The Watermark in Bridgeport and still fantastic) and Nick Giorgis before his death last year, and I know those reconnections are very welcome.

  9. Barbara Wanamaker

    I’m stunned that no one has yet mentioned that Mr. Weigel is in that video, singing with his awesome Orphenians. What a fine and well-deserved tribute. I’m sure he was thrilled to be a part of the event and to know what a profound influence he has had on his students.

    Barbara Wanamaker

  10. Congratulations to the 1983 Orphs!! Wish I was there to sing with them! Dr. Weigel looks like he’s in the same age bracket as the rest of the group!

    Scott Rose (Orphenians 1971-72)