With a golden heart, an exceptional ear for harmony and an exquisite voice, 83-year-old Ray Innaurato has made majestic music his mainstay for most of his life. His obsession also has perfected his pitch as a philanthropist who helps to advance promising performers’ pursuits.
“I am very proud of what music has helped me to accomplish,” the resident of the 2200 block of South 13th Street said, “as it has helped me to do a good service to South Philadelphia and beyond.”
The graduate of South Philadelphia High School, 2101 S. Broad St., has lent his passion to the choir at Epiphany of Our Lord Church, 11th and Jackson streets, since 1947. He used his early involvement to expose the parish to his love for musicals, too, as he injected Broadway favorites into events. A dozen years ago, the Lower Moyamensing inhabitant gave his résumé another noteworthy accolade by joining the Alfonso Cavaliere Memorial Concert board, which will continue its mission to endow young talents with grants by designating its 19th awardee Oct. 28 at Ss. Neumann-Goretti High School, 1736 S. 10th St. As the entity’s director of group sales, treasurer and vice president, Innaurato is lauding his successors while also strengthening his already robust desire to pay tribute to tunes.
“Music has been such a tremendous incentive to live my life to the fullest,” he said.
Losing his first bride a decade ago, he sought solace through joining the choir at the South Philadelphia Older Adult Center, 1430 E. Passyunk Ave., where he has been able to croon with Edith, his wife of almost five years, as The Cruising Duo.
“I feel very comfortable among my peers and am glad they receive my presence well,” Innaurato, who also has won praise for playing the spoons, said. “I was gifted with a harmonic ear and love to be able to entertain.”
Innaurato, who retired after careers in finance and human resources, performs with Epiphany’s singers for weekly services and with the center’s representatives for more than 12 annual shows. When the memorial concert commences, it will permit him another chance to look out for his contemporaries, as he said it will give them the feel of a Broadway show without damaging their bank accounts.
“Music doesn’t have to be expensive to be good,” he said.
Decades removed from his adolescent days of singing on corners as an Alley Cat Quartet member, he still finds singing seductive.
“It draws people,” he said. “I admire that it has given me so many opportunities.”
Contact Staff Writer Joseph Myers at email@example.com or ext. 124.
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