The NINETEENTH issue of our Orpheus newsletter. Recap all of the last months events and save dates for next season.
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Yours In Song - Issue No. 19

June 2019

Greetings to Members of the Orpheus Club of Philadelphia! 

We officially wrapped up the 2018-2019 season last month, but entertaining and newsworthy events just keep popping up.  Do come out and be part of an exciting Orpheus Summer!

This issue covers the following topics:

BREAKING NEWS – The Bacchus Boys are performing on June 15

This Saturday, the “Boys” will be performing at the Venetian Social Club, 8030 Germantown Avenue, from 7:30 to 10pm. Tickets are $12 at the door or $8.50, in advance, via Come on out for an evening of folk-focused fun!

Purchase Tickets In Advance

MORE BREAKING NEWS - A few cabins are still available for the BERMUDA CRUISE

Our “Songs of the Sea” Bermuda Cruise for Associate and Singing Members of the Orpheus Club sets sail from July 7 to 14, 2019 aboard the newly refurbished Celebrity Summit. The cruise departs from and returns to Cape Liberty located in Bayonne, NJ – just under a 2 hour drive from Philadelphia.
  • All staterooms and public areas on the Celebrity Summit have been completely renovated and enhanced during the Summit’s recent 31-day drydock
  • “Songs of the Sea” guests will enjoy a private cocktail party every night at sea while being entertained by Singing Members of the Orpheus Club.
  • Evening attire will consist of 3 formal nights and 4 business casual nights (jacket & tie for gentlemen); we will all dine together in the ship’s main dining room each night.
  • We will be invited to a private party on shore in Bermuda at the Fairmont Southampton Princess, for an additional fee, with a performance by the Singing Members.
  • Please visit for more information on the cruise and instructions on how to sign-up!
Click Here for More Cruise and Sign Up Information

Spring Concert

Back to Broadway & Van Pelt!

On Wednesday, May 8, as Mark Daugherty’s piano rang out with the notes of “Another Opening, Another Show,” the Singing Members strode onto the Verizon Hall stage to begin what many later hailed as “one of the best concerts, ever!”   Matt Lewis and his talented Revels cast “kicked” things off by explaining and demonstrating the magic of Broadway numbers with “It’s a Musical” from 2015’s “Something Rotten.” 

Then we began a 13-song, retrospective tour from George M. Cohan’s 1904 “Give My Regards to Broadway” up to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Alexander Hamilton.”  (And you thought Orpheus members couldn’t rap!)  Along the way, there were some standout Orpheus soloists,  Alfred Goodrich and Boston Philharmonic’s Ceren Turkmenoglu provided a string duet, and Strath Haven High Schools’ Carenna Cody became our “Broadway Baby.”

As is our custom in the Spring, there was also a reprise of several other hits from Revels, including an accompanied trio with a soulful rendition of Maroon 5’s “Sugar” and an outstanding Quartet doing Oscar-winner “Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog”.

After the concert, those of us who had avoided the dreaded Thursday morning meeting went back to the Clubhouse for celebration and fellowship with Associates who had made (the required) reservations. In addition to the delicious hors d’oeuvres and plentiful libations; there was, of course, more singing starting with Morgan Maxwell and Mike Thompson getting the “Joint Jumpin’.” Another good time was had by all.

New Associate Members Welcome Party


Thursday May 16th at the Clubhouse

This year we had to cancel the Fall New Member party due to inclement weather, but the week after the Spring concert, an enthusiastic gathering of 25 Singing Members and guests greeted 24 Associate Members and guests (plus Associates who had proposed new members) at their exclusive FREE cocktail party. As usual it was an easy-going occasion to meet fellow “Classmates,” have a class picture, tour the Clubhouse, get a brief orientation and enjoy some drinks, food and music. The latter included some OC classics followed by a number from The Bacchus Boys who then lead a short singalong for all attendees.  

Please think about the people you know who would enjoy the fun of Orpheus events and who would appreciate being proposed for Associate Membership. Then join in welcoming them at our party in November or May of next season.

Past and Upcoming Orpheus Appearances

Radnor Races

On Saturday, May 18, Orpheus Singing Members sang the National Anthem, as part of the Opening Ceremonies. We hope you had a chance drop by the OC tent to say hello, have some refreshments and probably get to hear a little more singing.  If not, please add it to your calendar for next year. 

Gladwyne Memorial Day

Singing Members marched in the parade and sang the Star Spangled Banner at the Gladwyne celebration on May 27.

Devon Horse Show

Singing Members also performed the National Anthem (photo below) before the evening festivities on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27 and Grand Prix Night, Thursday May 30. Associate Member Jim Devine was kind enough to send this wonderful photo of the Monday performance, and I encourage all the rest of you shooting with your phones or cameras to pass along your images of OC for me to share with the membership. Please send jpg files of 400KB minimum.

Fourth of July at Independance Hall

Orpheus will be supplying all  the music as part of the annual Let Freedom Ring birthday celebration.  We will be adding both OC and patriotic favorites to this colorful event, from 12:45 to 2pm in the park on the south side of the Hall.

Singing Member News

Annual Meeting

The last official event of the season is a Monday meeting of  the Singing Members at the Clubhouse to share the last meal of the season, get reports from officers and committee chairs, enjoy the President’s report on the current concert period, and hold elections.  The last included two new Singing  Members (see below) and a slate of Officers and our Conductor. I am happy to say that the current Officer were elected to a second one-year term and are pictured below, from left to right:  James Rockafellow, Librarian; Morgan Maxwell, Treasurer; Jonathan Turner, President; Timo Weymouth, Vice-President, & Bill Handy, Sr., Secretary.  

Annual Outing

On the first Wednesday of June, we undertake a full program of athletic events that culminates with cocktails and dinner (and singing) at the Philadelphia Cricket Club. The day began at “O-dark-thirty” with four intrepid oarsman launching from the University Barge Club (UBC) and heading up the Schuylkill to paused and let the excellent acoustics under Columbia Railroad Bridge enhance their rendition of “Aura Lee.” (Historical note: the song was written in 1853, and the UBC was founded the following year.) This wonderful action shot was extracted from a video shot ON THE WATER by Jonathan’s son, James Turner (of Italy tour fame).  

Mike Thompson then changed his shirt from red to bright green and made his way to Valley Green to join three other  hikers, who went to Bells Mill Road and back. The golfers teed off shortly after, and in the afternoon there was softball and tennis on the PCC grass courts. During cocktails, we lined up to document another splendid gathering to enjoy sportsmanship and fellowship!  

Hail & Farewell

After assembling for the Outing dinner in  the PCC Ballroom, we inducted two new Singing Members, both excellent additions to the Second Tenor section: 

Michael Mariano
Mike came to us through SM John Church with whom he sang all their years at the Haverford School. Mike sang in the APA a cappella group at U Penn, studied classical piano for 15 years  and is a DJ and sound engineer in this “spare” time. He and his wife, Stephanie, live in Philadelphia and he works for Tourism Economics in Wayne. We may also soon see Mike capturing images at OC events. 

Grady Sullivan 
Grady is a native of Kansas and graduate of Kansas University.  He has sung with the Kansas City Symphony Chorale, the Dessoff Choir (NYC) and the New York City Master Chorale.  He and his wife live in Philadelphia where he is an entrepreneur.

While it's not a sport you see played at our Outing, one of our tenors Jonathan Crowell has had continued success this year in court tennis, a historical predecessor to the modern game. Jon captained team USA in the Bathurst Cup, an international team competition, which took place over a week in Chicago this May. 

With a heartfelt rendition of “Absence,” the Singing Members also honored the memory of Rich Diffenderffer who passed away the week before last. 

Rich joined the Orpheus Club in 1969 and was a stalwart Second Tenor and charming entertainer, in Revels and many Clubhouse events.  Service details have not yet been finalized.

Save the Date!

Fall Garden Party 

Look for details over the summer. Following last year’s successful inaugural event in Center City, this year we are moving to the Corinthian Yacht Club to allow for more attendees. The event will be from noon to 4pm on Saturday, September 7th.

2019 – 2020 Concerts

Mark your calendars for our appearances at the Academy of Music on Wednesday, Dec. 11; the Union League on Wednesday, March 4 and Thursday, March 5; and Verizon Hall on Wednesday, May 6.

We look forward to seeing you at the next Orpheus Club event!

Yours In Song,

Tim Ratner
Newsletter Editor
C: 267.255.7400 | E:
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