Oui, those masked folks on Valentine’s Day were celebrating in French.

With berets and “bonsoir” in place, Deborah Jenkins Teske and husband Todd kicked off festivities at the annual Monte Carlo Masquerade fundraiser at Hotel Elegante.

It was all in preparation for the Colorado Springs Chorale’s trip to Normandy in June, where they are the official D-Day observance choir. Deborah Jenkins Teske is artistic director and conductor of the Chorale.

The Chorale, founded in 1956, is an auditioned ensemble with 120 members. Eighty voices are anticipated to go to France.

Helping raise money for the group’s trip and other programs, the Valentine’s fundraising masquerade crowd had a festive evening combining a Deuces Wild Casino, silent auction, sit-down dinner and dancing to Bill Emery’s Band.

In a quiet moment, Chris Straka, wearing a red boa, and famed baritone Peter Tuff led a tribute to the late Virgina Snow, who had helped start the masquerade tradition.

Local music lovers will be treated to a bon voyage dress rehearsal of the music for the Normandy concert on May 31 at First United Methodist Church.

Other performances include an Armed Forces Day Concert with the Air Force Academy Band on May 11 at Pikes Peak Center.

The Chorale will be featured in Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, May 16-17 at Pikes Peak Center.

For information: cschorale.org

Photo gallery: gazette.com/life/around-town

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