So far, Michael’s favorite moment with Orpheus was the recent concert for the AZ ACDA Conference in July: “Our performance at Camelback Bible in July was a superlative musical experience. I think we transcended the music and touched something magical, what I used to describe to students and colleagues as “moments of synergy”, where something is created that is far greater than an individual could do by himself. Hats off to everyone...and let’s do THAT again.”
Mike’s favorite aspect of singing with Orpheus is Doc’s direction and the hospitality of the group. “Most of my choral experience has been with large groups and it's quite easy to get lost in the mass. I don't think I'm exaggerating, but I'm always impressed that no matter what mood I am in, I nearly always leave rehearsal with a very satisfied and good feeling. I think there are a lot of really great people in the choir and their collective presence creates a consistently enjoyable atmosphere at rehearsals. I also think it is pretty amazing that even though we are a relatively diverse group of people, we all seem to have a zeal for singing. I'm quite proud of my involvement with Orpheus and am most gratified to stand alongside of some pretty amazing gentlemen.
After 15 years with Orpheus, Marvin’s favorite part of being in the chorus is the rehearsal time on Tuesdays. “No matter how crazy things may get in other areas, it's a chance to clear my head and work on something creative and group-oriented that is about creating something inspiring that can only be done as a group. That's a great feeling and I love the time I spend with Orpheus.”
For Kevin, singing provides a nice break from his job—and singing with Orpheus provides a nice sense of pride. “Singing is a great hobby and a chance to do something totally unrelated to work. I really enjoy singing with Orpheus. They are an extremely talented group. I like the wide variety of music that we perform. Brook makes it both fun and challenging, which is the perfect mix.” So far, Kevin has enjoyed many favorite moments with Orpheus, but he says perhaps the best for him has been singing the National Anthem at the Diamondbacks games; “also, the crowd reaction and appreciation at our concerts is very rewarding.”
Justin took an unusual path to joining Orpheus in the fall of 2012 in that he did not know anyone associated with the group, nor had he seen the group in performance; instead, he found Orpheus on the web. “I wanted to get back into singing and so I started researching local choirs online. I found the Orpheus website and it listed some of the songs Doc had programmed for spring. Two of them (Dirait-on and If Ye Love Me) are songs I absolutely love, so I suspected Orpheus would match my musical taste. And after seeing Doc's conducting style and seeing how friendly everyone was, I knew Orpheus was a good fit.” Justin’s favorite moments with Orpheus thus far have been many. “I'm not sure there's just one standout moment. There have been plenty of amazing moments during our various concerts that stick in my memory. The best ones are when the choir begins a song and it's clear that we're all together musically, mentally and emotionally. That's when the singing becomes a real joy.”
Jim’s favorite things about singing with Orpheus include the talent in the group and the focus on the music. “I appreciate the fact that Orpheus is focused on the music. In L.A., I had the opportunity to sing with some top-notch artistic directors, including guest conductors like Tim Seelig (Turtle Creek Chorale) and Eric Whitacre (composer of Seal Lullaby). Doc brings that same level of skill, artistry and magic as those ‘celebrity’ conductors, while remaining humble and completely practical. He and Carric seem to share the same vision for what Orpheus can achieve, and balance that with the needs of the membership. We are blessed to have them at the helm.”
Floyd enjoys both the focus and the release that singing can bring to performers and audiences alike. “I like the feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment that comes from the work we do and present to our audiences. It is a great way to really be in the ‘now.’ I feel like we get a chance to give a gift to our audience and help them have 90 minutes of their time to get away from the stresses of the day and enjoy.” With Orpheus, Floyd has enjoyed most just being part of the group and singing for others. “There have been so many great experiences: getting acquainted with, and being made to feel so welcome by the group; the rehearsals are something I look forward to each week, and then the concerts are so rewarding. Because of the quality of music Doc presents and what he is able to ‘pull’ out of us, singing before each audience is a great experience. The response we get after the concert from the guests is so rewarding.”
Drew enjoys many special memories of Orpheus from the past thirteen years, but his current friendships and our artistic leadership mean the most to him today. “It would be difficult to choose just one favorite thing. So many numbers we have performed over the years each had their special moments and I can’t put my finger on a particular one. I think the friendships that I have developed mean the most to me. And I just feel so lucky to work under an Artistic Director the caliber of Doc. He is so unpretentious, and has such a fantastic musical sense, and what he can get out of 80 nonprofessional singers amazes me every time we perform.
I went to my first rehearsal and, during warm-ups, I got some serious goose bumps listening to the sound and I was hooked. Unfortunately, family obligations kept me from finishing that season, but I knew that I would have to make an effort to come back once things settled down a bit.
In my years of teaching and building a career, I had forgotten how much I enjoyed singing. When I was invited to come to a rehearsal, I was hooked (again). Singing provides me with a way to share with other people. The rehearsals give me a sense of sharing with my friends and with an audience. For me, there is just no feeling better than watching people enjoy our performances.