For Orpheus .. Spring Program

Greeting Orpheans

Anxious to hear what we’ll be singing this Spring?

Our Theme Will Be: Shall We Gather at The River: A Choral Celebration

As many of you know, I have announced that Orpheus would be performing American Mass by Ron Kean. Surprise! I have made an executive decision to go another direction.

During the weeks while looking for outstanding arrangements of hymns to accompany the Mass on our program, I literally fell in love with several pieces that I discovered during my search. Actually, I fell hopelessly in love with Too Many Pieces. Thus, I have decided to drop the Mass, and instead, program an outstanding collection of high quality (and sometimes challenging) arrangements of beloved Hymn tunes. Several of the pieces are quite formal, intricate arrangements (including some 8 pts). Several are good old fashioned creative takes on traditional hymns. I have also included a Gospel number, and a couple of spirituals with roots in the American hymn form. As well I’ve programmed a couple of surprising hymns that I’ll tell you more about when I see you.

As you know many songs in the hymn tradition were transmitted from generation to generation by ear, where they were learned, loved, and shared without being written down. Along those lines, I have an interesting performance idea which will require some memorization.

I have posted much of the music on Dropbox and Soundcloud. Please have a listen. You will be glad you did.

Soundcloud =

Dropbox =

See ya on Sunday


Hymn tunes include:
Abide With Me – arr. Hogan
Arise and Come to Jesus
Be_Thou_my_Vision_arr. Forrest
Beautiful Savior
Beautiful River (Shall We Gather At The River) arr. Hawley
Come Thou Fount – arr. Schwoebel
Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal – arr. Shaw/Parker
I Got Shoes – arr. Shaw/Parker
My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord – arr. Hogan
Peace Like a River – arr. Wilberg
Praise His Holy Name
Requiem – Gilkyson

Spring Season Starts Sunday


Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. Some information for our start up. The first rehearsal will be January 7 2018 at 6:30pm Hornell Presbyterian Church. The dates for the spring concert are April 13 2018 at 7pm in Hornell and April 15 2018 at 3pm in Bath. Please mark your calendars. Hope to see you all on the 7th. Any questions let me know.


Small Group Info – repost

Beyond the Sea

All –
Soprano –
Alto –
Bass –

Natalie Crosby 1
Elaine Egmond 1
Linna Roemer 1
Jenn Breeze 2
Barbara Stephens 2
Dan Connors 3
James Hess 3
Earl Packard 3

The Joint is Jumpin

Beverly Packard A
Lisa Sanford A
Marissa Siciliano S
Linda Staiger S
Katherine Griffes SII
Lee Marcus SII

Blue Skies – Zegree

Colleen Sarnicola A
Rachel Trudell A
Steve Crandall B
Dale Smith B
Jim Varner B
Leath DeRitter S
Lucy Smith S
Thomas Boyle T
Paul Walker T

Need final singer count for October 14 performance

Hey Folks

As I mentioned last week, I am working on assigning singers to perform a small group number for our program on Oct 14.  It is quite a puzzle.

This week, several singers have contacted me to let me know that they cannot be with us to perform on October 14 program. I need to know, Are there others?  To make these assignments, I need to know exactly who will perform, and, frankly, I need to know right now.  To succeed, you must commit to rehearsals and to the performance.

Below is a list of folks who plan to perform.  Please check the list and make sure.  If you are on the list and cannot (or do not wish to) perform in a small group, I need to know ASAP. (please email me at by Sunday morning).  

Unfortunately, this is not the kind of thing where singers can easily drop out as other will be depending on you for attendance and part balance.

**If there is anyone who would prefer not to perform in one of the small group numbers, but still wish to sing the larger group numbers that is fine……., but, again, I need to know right now 🙂  If you are on the list below, and I DO NOT hear from you, you will be assigned a small group part.

Thanks, Mark


Helena Aldrich
Thomas Boyle
Jenn Breeze
Dan Connors
Steve Crandall
Natalie Crosby
Leath DeRitter
Elaine Egmond
Katherine Griffes
James Hess
Lee Marcus
Sally Melanbacher
Earl Packard
Beverly Packard
Linna Roemer
Lisa Sanford
Colleen Sarnicola
Marissa Siciliano
Dale Smith
Lucy Smith
Barbara  Stephens
Rachel  Trudell
Jim  Varner
Paul Walker

Orpheus Update and Preview

Hi Folks – A couple of Announcements

I. The Fall Plan

  • 5 Rehearsals – then performance in October
  • All – Learning 4 Pieces (Lion Sleeps, Wonderful World, Over The Rainbow, Stand By Me)
  • 3 Small Groups (8-9 singers each) will learn one song

II. I have drafted small group assignments.  To finalize assignments, I will need to know EXACTLY who is returning – if you haven’t contacted me already, please let me know if  you are NOT  returning this Fall.  ( –

So far, I am aware that Cecilia, Judith & George will not be with us this Fall.

Wanna get a head start –  Sure you do !!!!!

Scores & Audio Downloads


For those of you who prefer SoundCloud Audio



  • Wonderful World
  • Lion Sleep
  • Over the Rainbow
  • Stand By Me
  • Everybody Loves My Baby (maybe)


Woot woot. .. Orpheus returns Sunday September 10

Hello Gang

Im sure you’ve been wondering…. Orpheus starts up again on September 10th.

Please save the date .. and plan to attend.  Big News.   We have a Fall gig already .. we have been asked to perform at Hornell Wind Ensemble Dinner Concert & Fund Raiser for “Faith in Action”on October 14th.  We will be the dinner entertainment.  I have identified some fun contemporary music and for us to sing.  BUT we need to learn them quickly..  Attendance will be super, super important as we will only have 5 rehearsals to put together this short program.

Ill have more info soon,  but, for right now …  please mark your calendars and plan to attend.

September 10th at 6:30

October 14th – Warmup TBA

Looking forward to seeing you all again and making beautiful music together.



A Night of Dance, Music, Poetry, and Art

SAVE Saturday – Sept 2nd  6 PM

I heard George Smith (yes, our Orpheus bass- that George Smith) was doing a multi-media event around a poem he had created.  We have SO many talented people in our group.   I said “send me info about it so I can tell the rest of Orpheus.”  He sent me the Press Release below.  Do Not Miss this exciting event!!


A Night of Dance, Music, Poetry, and Art

Come to a cultural event, the reading of the poem “trembling feet take too long to sing?” by George Smith, on September 2nd at the Community Art Center on the Broadway Mall in Hornell.  This will be an evening of art, dance, music and poetry.  It will begin at 6 m with a reception for an exhibition of paintings by Renee E. Coombs and George A. Smith. At 7 pm, the focal point of the evening, poetry, music and dance will combine to entertain as well as to enhance your life through this time of resistance. The poem includes several chapters with a poetic narrator for guidance.  Music will be provided by Lee Marcus and Joe Meyer, dance by Andrea Meyer and the spoken word by Sharon Saker, Lee Marcus, and George Smith.  George is a little known poet who has been writing for many years.  He presents a unique style and outlook on life in phrases that come alive, filled with delightful musical cadences.  There is no charge for this event and it is open to the public. If you would like more information you can call George Smith at 585-478-4090.

I hope you will all come! I will be there for sure.





Rehearsal Reminder

Reminder, this Sunday July 23rd, rehearsal to do Star Spangled Banner. Presbyterian Church Hornell. 1:30pm. Please try to attend we will need many voices to record this piece. Mark sent out a link to the arrangement we are going to use, plus parts. Listen to your part! If you didn’t turn your music in at the picnic please bring it with you Sunday. Thanks





Star Spangled Banner w/Parts & Other Music DIscussed

Hi Folks

As promised, I wanted to share the music we discussed at the picnic yesterday.  This includes the Star Spangled Banner version we will be learning including practice parts. – Enjoy, Mark

Star Spangled Banner with Practice Parts – arr. Robinson

Star Spangled Banner Sheet Music –

Four Original Verses we’ve been asked to record for the Penn Yan radio station.  (July 23rd .. look for Lucy’s note with details) –

Other Music Discussed:

American Mass – Ron Kean
A World Beloved – A Bluegrass Mass

Star Spangled Banner etc.

Hi All, I hope everyone had a good time at the picnic, I did.  We discussed a lot of things at the meeting. Just a few reminders of up coming things. Sunday July 23rd we will be rehearsing at the Presbyterian Church Hornell at 1:30pm. The radio station in Penn Yan has asked us to record the Star Spangled Banner for them to play at noon everyday. They are paying us to do it. We will rehearse and record it the 23rd. Please we need as many people as possible.  This rehearsal will last 2 to 3 hours.

The next item is songs for fall rehearsal. We discussed learning some pieces to have as a repertoire to sing whenever needed. We would like you to go through the songs we have sung over the last 10 years and pick a couple you would like to sing. We will then pick several to sing, this can also include a Christmas piece. Please email your choices to Lisa Sanford at and Lucy Smith at Rehearsal will begin September 10th. A link to the list of music can be found in the post “Useful materials for our 10th Anniversary Season published 7/10/16. Thank You.

Lucy Smith