The ELEVENTH issue of our Orpheus newsletter. Read about all of our Orpheus Club events this spring!
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Yours In Song - Issue No. 12

June 2018

Greetings Members of the Orpheus Club of Philadelphia!

This issues will cover the following topics:

New Orpheus Administration

The Singing Members held the Club’s Annual Meeting at the Clubhouse on May 14th, where they elected officers for the 2018-19 Season.  Congratulations to those pictured below, from left to right:

  • Librarian – Jim Rockafellow 
  • Treasurer – Morgan Maxwell
  • President – Jonathan Turner
  • Vice-President – Timo Weymouth
  • Secretary – Bill Handy, Sr.

In addition, we elected a new Chairman of Associate Membership, Lawrence Choi.  He can be reached at

This team will be leading significant planning efforts over the summer, and we will be hearing from them in due course.

New Associate Members

On Friday, May 11th, we held the 5th semi-annual New Associate Member Welcome Party at the Clubhouse. These are free events exclusively for new members and guests plus their ASSOCIATE Proposers. The modest but very enthusiastic group of 23 Associates (pictured below) received a short orientation, got to meet “classmates” & Singing Members and tour the Clubhouse.  We all enjoyed some OC favorites followed by the now-traditional full-group Singalong!

For those who were unable to attend, the Fall New Member Party will be held on Friday, Nov. 9th at the Clubhouse, from 6 to 8pm.  SAVE THE DATE and be on the lookout for your email invitation after the summer. 

All current Associate Members are eligible to attend – just propose NEW Associate Members, and you can come welcome them yourself and be presented with the lovely Orpheus etched tumbler. Proposer Alan Murphy started his tumbler set on the 11th while welcoming his new members Ian and Jamie Larson. 

If you have any questions about the new member proposal process, please contact Lawrence, myself, or visit the website

New Singing Members

The Club continues to prosper with the addition of talented new singers. 

At our Annual Meeting, we elected John McLeod to the Second Tenor Section. John is also a member of the Union League and President of PMP Solutions, a Center City consulting firm helping CEO’s and Business Owners resolve their most pressing problems. 

We also elected Robert Richard (finally) to join the Second Basses. He was well-along in “the process” three years ago when he decided to pursue his PhD in History at UNC-Chapel Hill. He has now come home to Philadelphia and is completing that program this year. We are happy that Robert is back to join fellow alumni of the Haverford School Notables and the Princeton Tigertones in the ranks of the Orpheus Club.

Fourth Annual Orpheus Club
(Associate-Judged) Quartet Contest

On Saturday, April 28th, the Clubhouse was filled again with Associates and guests who were treated to a spirited competition among seven quality quartets,  vying for that coveted spot on stage at the Spring Concert.  The wonderfully eclectic mix of songs included The Beach Boys’ ”Kokomo,”  Billy Joel’s “Lullaby,” Barbershop favorite “That Old Quartet of Mine,” “Somewhere Out There” from the film “An American Tail,” the Four Seasons’ “Can’t Take My Eyes off of You,”  Bobby Troup’s jazz standard “Route 66,” and “Hallelujah” by the late Leonard Cohen. 

And it was a haunting rendition of the last song by “The Baffled Kings” (pictured above) that garnered the majority of the votes – in a very tight race.

Congratulations to the new champions, from left to right: Mark Still, Matt Lewis, Lawrence Choi, and Rob Biron.

LAST CALL for audio CDs

If you'd like to remember the contest, or hear it for the first time, you can order a recording of the entire Quartet Contest Finals event. Just $15. Don’t miss out! 
Order your OCQC Recording Today!

Spring Concert

We were glad to see a large turnout at Verizon Hall on May 2nd for the final concert of the Season. We were all treated to a wonderful re-creation of the musical joys of last June’s trip to Havana by Singing and Associate Members by its organizer, Singing Member Alfred Goodrich, and a richly expanded edition of his unique Alfred James Band. Other highlights of the Latin-themed first half included the deliciously smooth sound of jazz great Larry McKenna’s saxophone and Jonathan Turner’s subtle bossa nova inflections on “The Girl from Ipanema” accompanying evocative vocals by Brad Schrader in Portuguese and Dave Conver in English.  Suddenly, it was the ‘60s again.

The second half opened with a rousing “Ride the Chariot,” the song from the winning Quartet, and then an extended set of numbers from what many felt was one of the best sung Revels – ever.  We heard several of the wonderful solos, were delighted again by the vocal and manual dexterity of “the Red Cup” number, “When I’m Gone,” and then had the cast joined by the full Club for resounding renditions of “Seize the Day,” a “Les Mis” medley and the smashing finale.  Hooray for Hollywood, indeed!   

On a less-than-triumphant note, it is important to acknowledge that there were some issues with the sound system at Verizon Hall during the concert.  The Orpheus Club prides itself with the quality of the music we present to our Associates, and there were several points in the concert where what you were hearing did not meet our expectations.   We apologize for that and want you to know that there have been several very frank discussions with Kimmel Center management about their less-than-satisfactory support for this concert.  As a result, we are confident that we will NOT have these problems in the future! 

July 4th Celebration

As we have for the past several years, a group of Singing Members will gather on the south side of Independence Hall on the 4th to provide music for an event, open to the public, called “Let Freedom Ring.” This event has been sponsored by the PA Society of Sons of the Revolution for over fifty years. It includes a patriotic ceremony, with speakers and music (O.C.) starting at 1 p.m. and concludes at 2 p.m.

At that time, a contingent of descendants of signers of the Declaration of Independence will ceremonially tap the Liberty Bell and trigger a simultaneous bell-ringing in statehouses, courthouses and churches, etc. across the nation.

In Philadelphia, we are fortunate to be able to celebrate our nation’s birth in the shadow of its birthplace. To raise our voices in patriotic song at that spot stirs our hearts. We would love to share this special event with all who are in Center City on the 4th.

Meet and Greet at Red Owl

Immediately following the event, some of the Singing Members will adjourn to the Red Owl Tavern at 433 Chestnut Street, on the north side just east of 5th Street. It would be fun to continue America's birthday party with Associates and friends. 

Come, drop in for a cool one! 

Orpheus Club Travels

Ciao, Italia

After the success of the quick tour of Havana, the Alfred James Band is leading an extended visit to Italy in less than six weeks. But it is not too late to join! The five-city tour from July 9 to 17 will feature Orpheus performances in both the Basilica San Marco in Venice and as part of a Mass at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.   

The entire excursion, including airfare, is $3699, and there are a few open slots remaining. You can call 1.800.223.4664 for information or register to go at or Buon Viaggio!

Ahoy, Bermuda

If you need more time to plan, here are some dates to put in your calendar.  The 2019 Orpheus Cruise to Bermuda will set sail on July 8, 2019 and return Sunday, July 14th. Prices start as low as $1,450 per person (double occupancy) and will include a private cocktail party every night at sea. 

Space IS limited so consider making your reservation now. Call Celebrity Cruise’s Groups Department at 888-717-4907. Please reference our group name “Songs of the Sea” and our Group ID#: 6354659. We recommend you select the “complimentary drink option” when you sign up. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Cruise Director, Win Dougherty at or by phone at 610-952-1926.    

New Fall Event

Goodbye Summer, Welcome Back to OC 

Although the summer season has just kicked off with Memorial Day Weekend, we would like to give you a heads-up on a new family event for Associate and Singing Members of the Orpheus Club to kick off the new season.

In early/mid-September, we will gather for food, drink, and of course music to exchange summer stories and reconnect with old friends. The location will be at one of the yacht or golf clubs in the Philadelphia area.  

More details to follow in the upcoming weeks from our event chair, Singing Member Peter Bretschger. If you would like to be involved in the planning for this event, please contact Peter at


Dates to Save

Speaking of future dates, President Turner had already been doing some long-term planning with our concert venues for several years ahead.  Here are some dates we are delighted to share:

2018-2019 Season:
Christmas Concert at the Academy of Music, Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Mid-Winter Concerts at The Union League Wednesday and Thursday, March 6 & 7, 2019

Spring Concert at Verizon Hall, Wednesday, May 8, 2019

2019-2020 Season:
Christmas Concert at The Academy of Music, Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Mid-Winter Concerts at the Union League, Wednesday and Thursday, March 4 & 5, 2020

Spring Concert at Verizon Hall, Date TBD

2020-2021 Season:
Christmas Concert at The Academy of Music, Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Mid-Winter Concerts at the Union League, Wednesday and Thursday, March 3 & 4, 2021

2021-2022 Season:
Christmas Concert at The Academy of Music, Date TBD 

Mid-Winter Concerts at the Union League, Wednesday and Thursday, March 2 & 3, 2022

We look forward to staying in touch over the summer with reports of the Italy trip and other newsworthy items.   In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to Jonathan (, Lawrence ( ) or myself ( if you have any questions or suggestions.

Our Club Manager, Maureen Walsh ( ) is also on that contact list – but not until after June 26th , when she will be back from a short break following her June 23rd NUPTUALS!

Congratulations, Maureen, and thank you for taking such good care of all of us!

Yours In Song,
Tim Ratner
Newsletter Editor
C: 267.255.7400 E:

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