Robert F. Silvera
- Town: Glen Ridge, New Jersey
- Singing part: Tenor 1
- How did you first hear about Orpheus?
“At the time I joined Orpheus, I had grown up and lived in Westwood. I joined Orpheus in January of 1990 and have been a member now for over 30 years. I had originally been invited by a member, Frank Strobl, whom I had known for about 10 years.
“I was in a bowling league with my father, and Frank was in the league with his son. Frank had invited me to attend an Orpheus rehearsal and I really needed to get out of the house more.
“At the time, I was working full-time at my new teaching job as well as working on completing my first master’s degree. At that first rehearsal, I was assigned to sing with the Tenor 1s, of which, at the time, there was only one other.”
- How long have you been singing with Orpheus and how long in general?
“I had never sung before joining Orpheus. However, since joining all those years ago, I have had many opportunities to sing at amazing venues both with Orpheus and with other choruses. I have sung at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, among a few. I have also had the opportunity to perform with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and the New Jersey Wind Symphony.”
- Can you share a memory or experience with Orpheus?
"I have had a lifetime of great memories from singing with Orpheus. One of my favorite memories is that during my first few years of singing with the chorus, I had met my wife. We became engaged in the spring of 1991 and the Orpheus Club sang at our wedding in June of 1992.
“In 2001, I invited a gentleman from my new town of Glen Ridge that I had met at church, to join Orpheus and now, 20 years later, Jimmy Lisanti and I are still best friends.
“My friendship with the conductor, John Palatucci, has continued since the day we met back in 1990. I have watched his family grow, and my wife and I continue to be friends with him and his wife, Kathleen.”
- Can you share a favorite choral song?
“I do enjoy all of the music we sing and really do not have a favorite tune.”
- How does music help you through tough times?
“Singing with the Orpheus Club Men’s Chorus has been such a wonderful experience. It has been with me since before I was married and continues to be part of my support system to this day. I have had a number of severe medical issues these last three or four years and my dear friends, Jimmy Lisanti and John Palatucci, along with many other singing members, have been there to support me through my illnesses.
"On nights that I was attending when I first began dialysis due to end-stage kidney disease, I wouldn’t be able to sing and I would just sit and listen, and the music would help heal my soul. This is what the friendships and camaraderie and support that singing with Orpheus has given me through all of my 30+ years singing.”
Published in May 2021