For the Rolling Stones’ “50 & Counting” anniversary tour dates in New York and London last year, they tapped the Choir of Trinity Wall Street and the London Youth Choir to sing the intro to “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”
The experiment worked, and now the Stones have asked the San Jose State Choraliers to back them up at Oracle Arena on May 5 and HP Pavilion on May 8.
Dr. Jeffrey Benson, director of the SJSU choral program, received a call from London before the tour hit California.
“They had asked their buddies in southern California, ‘Who’s the best choir in northern California?’ and we were highly recommended,” Benson says.
The Choraliers have long been considered on of the best in northern California and recently backed Andrea Bocelli at HP last November in front of 20,000 people.
Benson’s recently retired predecessor, Dr. Charlene Archibeque, significantly developed the program after her arrival in 1970. What started as a small group of 12 madrigal singers quickly became a larger auditioned chamber ensemble. The SJSU Choraliers went on to win Choir of the World in 1991 as well as six other first prizes at European festivals.
Those trying to see the Stones might consider joining the SJSU choir in the next couple weeks. Tuition at SJSU looks cheaper than some tickets.