Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Enjoy ‘A Night in Old Vienna’

Caritas to hold benefit concert at Valley Club

Express Staff Writer

Caritas Chorale is currently rehearsing for a benefit performance, Sunday, Sept. 11. Express file photo


Express Staff Writer

The local 80-member choir known as the Caritas Chorale will perform festive music and songs, accompanied by an orchestra, at its annual benefit concert fundraiser at the Valley Club north of Hailey on Sunday, Sept. 11, at 5:30 p.m.

The theme for the evening will be "A Night in Old Vienna," featuring "The Merry Widow Waltz" by Franz Lehar and music from "Die Fledermaus (The Bat)," an operetta composed by Johann Strauss.

Waltzing attire is recommended at the event, as attendees will have an opportunity to dance to live performances before and after dinner.

Tickets for the event cost $150 and include cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and dinner.

The Caritas Chorale is led by conductor and director Dick Brown and his assistant director, R.L. Rowsey. Brown formed Caritas Chorale in 1999 with the intention of building a community chorus that could perform major choral pieces with an orchestra.

Besides Caritas, Brown founded the Choral Rendezvous in Challis and the Chamber Choir of Idaho. He is also musical director for St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Ketchum and for the Community School in Sun Valley.

Rowsey is a core member of Company of Fools theater troupe in Hailey, musical director for the Light on the Mountains Spiritual Center and artistic director for the Sun Valley Summer Symphony School of Music.

Caritas Chorale does not charge admission fees for its performances, which take place several times each year in the Wood River Valley, but instead relies on donations.

Caritas Chorale has toured in Europe, with performers paying their own expenses. At Sunday's benefit, big plans for next year will be announced.

"We rely on this event to carry us through the year," said first soprano Linda Menser, who has sung with Caritas Chorale for two years.

"It is truly a very enlightening and exciting experience to perform, because Dick Brown and R.L Rowsey expect professional performances out of all of us," Menser said. "It is very fulfilling for all of the members."

Caritas Chorale singers come from all walks of life in the Wood River Valley. They include retirees, ski bums, lawyers, doctors and teachers. Most of the 30 to 40 orchestra members come from Boise and the Wood River Valley.

For reservations, contact Ann Taylor at 726-5402.

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