Alexandria City High School students watching Saturday Night Live this weekend might have seen a familiar face in the musical numbers: the school’s Director of Choral Activities Theodore Thorpe III.
Thorpe was part of the Jason Max Ferdinand Singers in a choral ensemble with Coldplay, performing the songs The Astronaut, Human Heart, and Fix You in the show on Saturday, Feb. 4.
Thorpe said there were two days of rehearsal before the show: one with the members of the Jason Max Ferdinand Singers and then one with the group and Coldplay.
“There was a lot of work on multiple fronts,” Thorpe said. “Not just the chorus and the musical scores, but all of the folks working to make the performance happen, from set design to stage management and costuming. I like to call it: organized chaos.”
Thorpe has known Jason Max Ferdinand for over two decades but said this new choral group took off during the pandemic.
“This group really started out of the pandemic and it has just been taking off,” Thorpe said.
Thorpe said the Saturday Night Live performance came from the friendship between Ferdinand and musician Jacob Collier.
“[Ferdinand] got a call from [Collier] who said Chris Martin from Coldplay wanted this choir to perform with him,” Thorpe said. “They brought us to New York. The members of our ensemble are from all over, so we came together for this performance and really only had one day.”
Thorpe said he was backstage for much of the show because they had to do a quick change between songs.
“It felt great,” Thorpe said. “It was a great experience, from rehearsals all the way down.”
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If you had a chance to enhance a child’s future with a time commitment of less than 2 hours a week, how would you respond? You have that opportunity right now to join over 200 Alexandrians as a reading tutor volunteer with the Alexandria Tutoring Consortium (ATC).
ATC tutors work with one child in kindergarten, first, or second grade in Alexandria public schools who need extra help with reading. Tutors meet with their Book Buddy 1-2 times each week for 30 minutes October-May at school, during school hours. Many struggling readers only receive one-on-one instruction through this program, and it makes all the difference. Last year, ATC served 195 children, of whom 82% ended the year reading on grade level and 96% made substantial reading gains. But the need is great, and we are still seeing learning lags from the pandemic.
This year, ATC plans to significantly increase the size of the program to reach over 250 students and to serve every elementary school in Alexandria. This is very exciting news, but we will only succeed if we can recruit more tutors. ATC trains you, matches you with a child, and provides ongoing lesson materials and support.
If you have been thinking about buying your first home or haven’t owned one in the last three years, THIS IS FOR YOU!
In the DMV area, it can be difficult to save the downpayment necessary for you to get into your own home. We have a solution. The Funder’s Summit!
We have assembled a summit with different municipalities to tell you how to access their funds for your home purchase.