Staples’ Orphenians fly home tonight from San Francisco.
They don’t even need a plane.
Last night, Staples’ elite a cappella group joined 9 other high school choirs, in a spectacular performance at sold-out Davies Symphony Hall.
Orphenians combined with other choruses from California, Arizona, Illinois and Tennesse — the culmination of 4 days of intense vocal workshops with internationally known Chanticleer.
Yesterday featured Chanticleer and the choirs in a day-long residency. Each performed individually on the stage, and attended master classes led by world-renowned operatic mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick.
At night, 300 singers joined with instrumentalists from the Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra, in a program featuring the West Coast premiere of Lars-Erik Larsson’s “God in Disguise,” and the world premiere of “Birdsong” by Zajick (composed for the occasion).
Rondi Charleston — whose daughter Emma Ruchefsky is an Orphenian — was awed by “these glorious voices blending together in beautiful harmony, floating over the full house. Our Orphs rose to the occasion, and achieved a new level of artistry. It was a magical evening full of hope for the future — of music, and humanity.”
Of course, as a parent she’s biased. Doug Bond — a
1980 1981 Staples grad (and former Orphenian, who traveled to Europe with director George Weigle) — might be biased toward the old days.
But Doug — who now lives in San Francisco — says: “Amazing voices! Amazing talent! A unique moment! Congratulations Orphenians and director Luke Rosenberg — you made an Orph alumnus proud!”
He adds that Chanticleer encouraged cell phone use during the concert, and gave directions on how to post videos to Vine.
To see all the Vines from last night, click here.
To view just the Orphenian videos from the 5-day adventure, click here.
(Be sure to right-click “Unmute” to hear these great voices!)