Friday night’s choral concert at Staples High School was typical.
That is, typically spectacular.
Scores of teenagers — representing 6 different ensembles, including Orphenians — sang a wide variety of difficult, inspiring and beautiful pieces. The theme was “Arise”; the songs carried the audience from early morning to late night.
The entire concert — from concept to the selection of music — was designed by student officers.
But the best part came at the end.
Choral director Luke Rosenberg stood to honor the 29 graduating seniors. They prepared to introduce themselves, and describe what’s next. (A who’s who of great colleges, with majors ranging from musical theater and stage management to biophysics and political science.)
First though, Rosenberg took the mic.
In an emotion-choked voice, he said:
“I get to make music with young people every day. I fall in love with these kids. Then they get old, and go away.
“I want them to grow up and do great things. But it’s bittersweet.”
Rosenberg then described why he loves what he does — and why it is important.
His goal is not to create 30 or 40 music majors. “Quite frankly,” he quipped, “there are not enough jobs.”
Rather, music is “something they can love, and be part of for the rest of their lives.”
Then — proving his point — when Rosenberg was done, and the 29 seniors had taken their bows, the Orphenians took center stage one more time.
With senior Jacob Leaf conducting, they sang a stunning version of “Ave Maria.”
They’d prepared it on their own — just for Luke Rosenberg.
Click below to see Luke Rosenberg’s full speech. It was filmed by Tom Malin — father of graduating senior Madison Malin — and edited by her brother Brandon.