Thursday, July 2, 2020
Caritas Chorale-‘Blessed to Share’
Drs. Charlotte and Herb Alexander evoked the Roaring Twenties with a beaded evening dress inspired by the flappers and a 1920s-style hat.
Tuesday, September 10, 2019


Irving Berlin’s career spanned decades, starting with the first song he wrote when he was 8 or 9, notes Caritas Chorale member Richard Stahl.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the immigrant from Imperial Russia lived to be 101.

The Caritas Chorale sang Berlin’s song “Anything Goes,” which looked back to the days when “a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking” Sunday night during its annual fundraiser at the Limelight Hotel.

Caritas Chorale members came properly attired for the evening. Among them: Manon Gaudreau, Joy Bond, Peggy Striegel, Charlotte Alexander, Karin Knott, Nicole Ripke and Jo Ellen Collins.

And the shindig illustrated the fact that the Caritas Chorale has staying power, as well, as it spent the evening celebrating its 20th anniversary with a tribute to the Roaring 20s.

“That’s a great song, isn’t it?” said Director R.L Rowsey. “And 20 years. It’s impressive, isn’t it?! We feel blessed to share a variety of great music with our community.

“And the other part of what we do is what happens in our rehearsals,” he added. “We get out of our  homes, we leave our electronics devices behind and we vibrate…If you think we’re the coolest people on the planet, you might want to attach yourself to us.”

Dr. Charlotte Alexander joined the Caritas Chorale 19 years ago—just after it started. She was excited to sing Faure’s “Requiem” under the chorale’s founder Dick Brown. And she has loved being part of it since.

Joel and Nicole Ripke have relished singing with the Caritas Chorale since moving to Sun Valley a few years ago.

“I relax from work by running, skiing--everything possible. I find music helps me express myself,” she said.

Rowsey told the sellout crowd that the annual fundraising celebration was essential to the Caritas Chorale’s ability to gift the community with free concerts throughout the year.

“If you’re thinking of joining us. Just show up we’ll stick you in the right group,” he said. “There’s something magical that takes place when we sing together, when we vibrate together. I have this theory that musicians should take over the world and lead it.

He paused. “I’m not running for the position. Don’t get me wrong.”

R.L. Rowsey led the Caritas Chorale in a lovely rendition of “Bye Bye Blackbird,” “Ragtime” and Someone to Watch Over Me” as Dollar Mountain loomed through the floor-to-ceiling windows.


Between leading the B Tones and Enchante at Wood River High School and working with students in the Sun Valley Music Festival School of Music, he has plenty of plates.

And, of course there’s the looming Caritas Chorale season.

It will kick off with in early winter with a holiday concert, as well as the annual Holiday Sing-A-Long for The Hunger Coalition.

The programs of past years tell it all from John Rutter’s “Requiem” to Beethoven’s “Mass in C Major,” from “A Psalm of David” to “Cirque du Summer.”

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