Student Faculty Chorale and One Man’s Lasting Legacy

Philip Demeulenaere

I never thought I’d learn my French 3 curriculum through opera stories. To be honest, I was a bit skeptical of this imaginative way of learning at first. I’d never even been to an opera and I wasn’t sure how the class would turn out. Nevertheless, I was learning – at times – a vocabulary completely surrounding the operas of Verdi and Bizet. To say the least, I was impressed by my teacher, Mr. Friedman. He captivated me for an entire year of French class thanks to his passion and dedication for opera.

His passion for Opera is mirrored in his unrelenting dedication to the Student Faculty Chorale. Last Thursday during the Chorale concert, I listened to Mr. Friedman singing Opera in front of the entire school. I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Friedman about the Student-faculty chorale. If there’s one person who knows most regarding the Chorale, it’s him. He’s been part of the Chorale since its inception in 1983 by music director, Phil Kerry. The Chorale concert is one of the longest standing traditions among students and teachers at Latin. Mr. Friedman remarked, “This year there’s been a renewal of interest by the faculty,” perhaps in part by Mr. Lea’s contribution in the Choral department.

Recently, our school got to witness another wonderful chapter of the Student Faculty Chorale. They sang a collection of songs that ranged in time from the 17th Century to modern times, including the Beatles’ masterpiece “Eleanor Rigby.” As usual, the singing was excellent, filling the church.

The performances over the years have always been a mixture of pieces whether they are classically oriented or from musical theatre. The Chorale students rehearse during Chorus class while meeting periodically with the faculty, who rehearse once a week after school. However, the full chorus only meets once at the dress rehearsal. Mr. Friedman added, “There’s a rush that you get when you’re all together on stage.” The Student Faculty Chorale is more than just music we hear: it’s truly a culmination of the dedication of both students and faculty alike. It allows students and teachers, like Mr. Friedman, to share their passion with the entire school. Traditions like this one strengthen our community at Latin, uniting the entire school. This long standing tradition has a bright future and will provide many more years of performances to come.