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2018-19 Season begins, all about singing kids

We had vacation, and returned to rehearsal last month, joined by new Chair #12 Andy Berry, and returning counter-tenor Kory Reid.  This will be a year full to capacity - as usual- with concerts, including in 9 countries in Europe over two tours, in January-February and May.  In the earlier one we will start in Ireland and end in Russia, and in May we will mostly be in Germany at various a cappella festivals. 

Continuing our 40th Anniversary celebrations, we will have a big Gala/Reunion  “Up and Away” on October 17 in the Wilsey Center for Opera ( not yet sold out!).  The following morning, October 18, at noon, we will consecrate some of Louis Botto’s ashes to the National AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park, with an inscribed boulder that has been generously been funded by people who loved Louis. 

What are we doing now?   From tomorrow, September 4 through September 20 we will be making multiple daily appearances in 26 of San Francisco’s Public Schools for students of all ages.  We consider it our anniversary gift back to the city where we live, and its teachers.  We are collaborating with the S.F. Unified School District and the Walter and Evelyn Haas Foundation.  It should be fun to see the amazing diversity of San Francisco’s school population up close.

Meanwhile also, the Louis A. Botto ( L.A.B) choir has begun its 17th session under the direction of our new Education Director Cole Thomason-Redus.  LAB XVII will appear with us on October 17 at the Wilsey Center and in some other locations to be announced. 

Up and Away

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Joel Diffendaffer (Chanticleer singer 1999-2000) Obituary

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Joel Diffendaffer

It is with great sadness that the family of Joel Brian Diffendaffer (aka "Diff") announces his passing after an aneurysm and aortic dissection. Joel passed away on August 4, 2018 at the age of 44 while on vacation in Colorado. He was taken away too soon and left behind a wife, Lori Diffendaffer, and a four year old daughter, Ava Diffendaffer. Joel is also survived by his parents, Ron and Carol Diffendaffer of Scottsbluff, Nebraska; his brother, Dr. Clark Diffendaffer (and his wife Diana) of North Platte, Nebraska; his sister, Elizabeth Kalinowski (and her husband Joseph) of Park City, Montana; his mother in-law and father in-law, Alice and Jim Harnes of Port Isabel, Texas; and his sister in-law and brother in-law, Deborah and Paul Moore of North Bethesda, Maryland. Joel attained many accomplishments during his life. As a professional musician, he travelled the world and performed with GRAMMY Award-winning vocal ensemble Chanticleer. Joel's performance experience also included singing with Kansas City ensembles Armonia and Kantorei, professionally recording in Orlando, and performing with a barbershop quartet at Tokyo Disney Sea in Japan, as well as many other engagements. Driven by a desire to share his love of music and transform the lives of young adults, Joel earned his master's degree in choral conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (where he also earned his bachelor's degree) and assumed his first teaching role at The Barstow School. He then taught choir at the upper school of The Pembroke Hill School for 10 years and also served as Performing Arts Chair.During his tenure, his choirs won numerous awards at the World Strides Chicago Heritage Festival and performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City multiple times.In the most recent Carnegie Hall appearance, one of the Pembroke choirs performed solo on stage as a featured choir under Joel's baton. Outside of music, Joel held diverse interests. As an avid cyclist, he worked at the Trek bike store in Shawnee, KS during many summer breaks. He loved riding for causes, including the MS 150, and tackled as many mountain passes as he could. He twice rode the Copper Triangle in Colorado. In addition, Joel had a passion for finance and became accomplished in options trading, while also learning all he could about cryptocurrency. In his spare time, Joel poured himself into how to fix anything and everything related to the house and cars. He reveled in the details, and this detail-oriented nature extended to his obsession for a perfectly manicured lawn. Of all of these interests, nothing surpassed his love for being a devoted husband, father, son, brother and Christian. His church home was the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. Joel will forever be remembered for his megawatt smile and unwaveringkindness and positivity. These attributes made a profound impact on the lives of his students, friends and family, and every person he came across. A celebration of Joel's life will be held on August 18, 2018 at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection (Sanctuary): 13720 Roe Ave, Leawood, KS 66224. Public viewing will begin at 8:30 am CT and the funeral service will begin at 10 am CT, followed by a reception. Those who cannot attend may view live streaming of the service via the following link: www.cor.org/memorialsonline. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Pembroke Hill School Joel Diffendaffer Memorial Fund, which will allow the kindness and positivity of Joel to continue making an impact on the lives of Pembroke students in need. Checks can be mailed to: 5121 State Line Rd, Kansas City, MO 64112. Fond memories and condolences for the family may be left at www.johnsoncountychapel.com

 

 

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Our debut at Caramoor - it was hot!

Funny that in all these 40 years we’ve never appeared at Caramoor.  That changed tonight when we performed on a sultry ( to put it mildly) evening in the Spanish Courtyard.  The sold out audience included former ensemble member Marques Jerrell Ruff, Chris Campo ( a regular at our Sonoma summer workshop) and Christopher Andrade from Darien High School where we did an annual Youth Choral Festival for about ten years.  Everyone was hot and happy, especially us in our white tie finery. 

 

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Adventure travel ( for us) to North Haven

When we saw North Haven on the schedule we didn’t think so much of it.  Must be north of New Haven, we thought.  Then it became clear that it’s an island which we would get to by ferry, and where we would be dependent upon the kindness of the locals for housing.   A Nor’easter was predicted which didn’t eventuate today for our ferry trip which did, however, take place in a complete fog.  We had no idea where we were going.  Arriving in North Haven at 3.30pm, right on time for our 5pm dinner and warmup and 7.30pm concert we were warmly welcomed and taken off to our respective houses, one of which is the Anne Morrow Lindbergh house ( you can see it in the distance in the panoramic picture below) next to the landing strip from which Charles took off on one of his flights to Paris.  The Waterman Community Center has a 100 seat theater with a good size stage ( for a l00 seat theater) and an acoustic which enabled us to hear each other very well.  That doesn’t always happen.   We were sold out in advance, and quite a few people hoping for a seat were turned away.  It was an intense and intimate experience for a hugly enthusiastic audience.   People were great, and it was worth the trip in the car, on the boat, through the fog to get here.  The Nor’easter had better not happen tomorrow either, as we must get off this island and over to New Hampshire for a performance in. Plymouth New Hampshire tomorrow night.

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A little summer tour

“Then and there, Here and Now” - our 40th Anniversary program - has hit the road. Eric and Tim are with us for these few weeks in Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and Illinois;  Ravinia will be the final performance for both.  Starting in Ottowa with a performance at Dominion-Chalmers United Church, we moved on to Boothbay Harbor where we had sung in the Opera House two years ago The house was full to capacity, and they liked the program.  As you know, we recorded it last month and that CD will be released in October.  Tomorrow we go by ferry to North Haven to perform in the little Waterman’s Community Center.  It was already going to be an adventure, but an impending Nor’Easter seems to be raising the possible drama level.  Stay tuned.

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