Orphenians Sway To “Aloha Cabaret”


It’s winter in Westport. Plenty of folks are dreaming of Hawaii.

The Orphenians will actually go there.

Well, not until June. But Staples High School’s elite a cappella choral group is already making plans. And rehearsing.

And raising funds.

The trip to the International Luau of Song Festival, with director Luke Rosenberg and conductor Pearl Shangkuan of Calvin College, will include learning about cultural music, performing, and touring on both Oahu and the Big Island.

All 42 Orphenians are going. They’ve set a goal of $45,000, to cover expenses of those who cannot afford it all.

So think leis and grass skirts, and get ready for an “Aloha Cabaret.” It’s set for January 22, at the Westport Library.

Broadway and Metropolitan Opera star, Tony Award-winning Kelli O’Hara — a Westporter, and Orphenians fan — will perform. Choral alumni like Clay Singer, Georgia Wright and others joins her on stage.

Rosenberg will sing too. For those who know him only from the back, as he wields his baton, that’s a special treat.

The emcee is David Pogue. Among many other talents, the “CBS Sunday Morning” correspondent is a former Broadway arranger and conductor (and father of Orphenians).

A silent auction includes an array of items, from Caribbean stays and jewelry to lessons and coaching. There are Hawaiian-themed light bites too.

Just what we need for a cold — but also very cool — January night.

(VIP tickets are $225 per person; they include 6 p.m. early entry, choice seating, and a meet-and-greet with performers. General admission tickets are $150 per person, for 6:30 p.m. entry. Click here to purchase. To make a donation without purchasing, click here. Questions? Email [email protected])

Click below for the Orphenians’ most recent Westport Library event. They performed holiday music, and selections from their fall concert.

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