Last night’s “¡Musica Caliente!” concert was stunning.
Staples High School’s Orphenians, A Cappella Choir, Chorus and Chorale presented more than a dozen songs from places near the equator — Brazil, Bali, India, Puerto Rico, Haiti, East Africa — that were extraordinarily difficult to sing, beautiful in vastly different ways, and inspiringly presented.
It was a superb evening. But the highlight came after choral director Luke Rosenberg spoke movingly of his many seniors — the 1st class he’s seen all the way through Staples, since arriving 4 years ago.
Each senior described where he or she is going to college. Some are studying voice or musical theater; others will become engineers, journalists or psychologists. One hopes to enter the Marines.
Then the seniors announced a gift. They stood on the risers and sang “Dominus Vobiscum” by Sydney Guillaume, the Haitian composer whose “Tap Tap” they had already performed to thunderous applause.
The soon-to-be-graduates had chosen the piece, rehearsed it, and nailed it — all on their own.
That’s the greatest gift any educator ever gets.