Orphenians 50th Anniversary Concert
Jon Loeb ’11
It is an hour before the Orphenians 50th Anniversary concert and the area outside of the auditorium is packed with Orphenians past and present.
Orphenians from 50 ago are talking to Orphenians from five years ago and there is an overwhelming feeling of camaraderie within the room.
Each Orphenian proudly wears a nametag that displays their years in the choir group. Many of the past Orphenians have moved to different parts of the globe and grown apart, but their allegiance to the choir is something they all share.
This connection has even brought some of them to Westport from all over the nation.
“I flew down all the way from Florida for this night, Orphenians was definitely really important for me,” said Scott Rose ’72.
While others came from just a few miles away. “Oh, I just drove up from Wilton,” said Kim Rafter Mangan ’75.
While the concert was also a meeting ground for past Oprhenians it was also a celebration of the career of Alice Lipson, the current Orphenians conductor, who will be retiring at the end of this year.
“Mrs. Lipson rounds up a bunch of top notch singers every year to produce an incredible sound, and picks fun songs too. I will miss Orphenians and Mrs. Lipson for many reasons,” said Jake Yarmoff ’10.
Despite Lipson’s departure, the reception was full of smiles, hugs and warm memories of the past and high hopes for the future.
“I have fond memories of caroling around Christmas time and getting the Orphenians jacket, which was a really big deal,” said Mangan.
The concert itself was also created to mix the past with the new.
“This concert has been different from the others because in addition to trying to make great music, we’re also doing it for all the years of Orphenians alumni; singing songs they’ll remember from their high school days, and reminding them why Orphenians was so important to them,” said Dan Shure ’10.
Orphenians has made an impact in many of the members’ lives including Rose.
“I got a degree in music education something I definitely owe to being in Orphenians.”
For the current members this concert was their last time to have those great moments.
“It’s a chance to really appreciate what Orphenians is and show my respect for Alice Lipson and the group that has been doing it for the music for 50 years,” said Shure.