Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Caritas Chorale Performs Magic of Music
Donna Beaux hams it up as the Caritas Chorale prepares to leave its audience spellbound.
Wednesday, September 19, 2018


Magician Kipp Sherry couldn’t stop the breeze that sent sheets of music flying. But he could get down on his knees in front of the Caritas Chorale and hold conductor R.L. Rowsey’s music to the stand.

And that’s where the real magic began.

“We’ve got magic to do just for you,” the choir sang to supporters sitting on the patio of Ketchum’s Limelight Hotel Sunday evening.

“This is magic,” Kipp Sherry tells Christine Davis-Jeffers as he performs card and handkerchief tricks. “A miracle would be if you’re lame but now can walk or if you’re deaf but now can hear.”

And, indeed they did. Rowsey performed his indomitable magic as he and the choir pulled one hit after another out of their invisible hat, including “Danny Boy,” “Blue Skies” and “Fly Me to the Moon” out of their imaginary hat.

“People have sung it before,” Rowsey said of the song popularized by Frank Sinatra, “And may they sing it for generations to come.”

The occasion was the Caritas Chorale’s annual fundraiser to support the free concerts it performs the remainder of the year.

This one included such silent auction items as a season ski pass donated by Sun Valley Resort, stays in condos in Maui and Mission Bay near San Diego, a guided fishing trip on the Salmon River, an opportunity to golf at the Valley Club and a handmade quilt donated by Margie Gould and Mary Lloyd.

R. L. Rowsey and his troops created magic by weaving together C-majors and A-flats with a little help from page holder and magician Kipp Sherry, who eventually found a chair to sit in so he didn’t have to spend the concert on his knees.

It also included plenty of opportunities to sponsor appearances by professional musicians to the tune of $650 each.

But it takes more than gifts of money, Rowsey noted.

“Keep showing up. It gives us reason to sing,” he told those in the audience.

Rowsey said next up for the Caritas Chorale will be the Holiday Sing-along fundraiser for The Hunger Coalition in early December.

Caritas Chorale members say they have a ball, even at rehearsals, under the guidance of the ever-fun R.L. Rowsey, who always has a twinkle in his eye.

“We’re woven into their fabric and it feels good to be there,” Rowsey said.

The Chorale will stage a concert of classic holiday favorites with the Wood River Orchestra.

After Christmas, the Caritas Chorale plans to perform music by Vivald, bringing in  professional musicians to join them.

Next spring they will stage their second annual Day of Hope and Light. Last year’s include a choral workshop for a hundred adults and youth, mini-concerts in parks featuring school and community choirs and a free concert of inspirational songs at the Wood River High School Performing Arts Theatre.

Heidi Schiers and Ann Perry have sung with the Caritas Chorale for several years.

Joel Ripke, the youth pastor at Valley of Peace Lutheran Church in Hailey, joined the choir shortly after he and his wife moved to the Wood River Valley a year and a half ago.

“I really like singing and it’s fun singing with a community group like this with people from all walks of life. Plus it was an easy way to meet people and make new friends,” he said.

Peggy Striegel joined the choir recently after moving to Ketchum from Tulsa, Okla.

“I sang with a women’s chorus there and it’s so nice to sing with basses and tenors here,” she said. “Plus, R.L. makes the rehearsals so much fun. Such a spirited fellow! I look at him and think, ‘What a character!’ ”


All ages are welcome and there are no auditions. To find out more, visit Or, call, Executive Director Linda Bergerson at 208-726-4846.


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