2001 - Holding Court at the Palace, 23rd Pride, Building a World Together, Let Music Live!, Home for the Holidays
In keeping with our traditions of free concerts, in the spring of 2001 we traveled to Colma Cemetery on March 4 to take part in annual pre-burial wake of the Widow Norton, the First Empress of San Francisco. On March 17, we would again sing at the AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park for the Grove volunteers and caretakers and visitors.
Holding Court at the Palace. This concert was held at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in the afternoon of February 11. It was an eclectic mix of choral works, small ensemble pieces and solos. I think that this was the first time we performed "How Can I Keep From Singing?" Other music we sang was "You and the Night and the Music" with Joan Goldman as soloist. We also sang "If I Loved You" from Carousel, "Of Crows and Clusters," a piece by Wolfgang Mozart called "Non So Piu Cosa Son" and we ended the concert singing "With One Voice." Stephanie Smith, who had filled in as accompanist at the GALA Festival was now our full time accompanist.
23rd Annual Pride Concert. This Pride concert was held in June at the First Congregational Church, SF. Our guests for this were the Lesbian & Gay Freedom Band, the Oakland East Bay Gay Men's Chorus, Opus Q and the Lollipop Guild of SFGMC. This was another wonderful collaboration with these great Bay Area singers and musicians. The music we all shared with our audience was as diverse as the five groups performing. At the time, Opus Q was the new kid on the block as they had formed earlier in 2001. Oakland East Bay Gay Men's Chorus was formed in the fall of 1999 by Dick Kramer and their accompanist on this concert was our own Thaddeus Pinkston.
Building a World Together. On this concert, we were guests of the Oakland East Bay Gay Men's Chorus in their Second Anniversary Pride Concert. It was held on September 8 at the First Congregational Church in Oakland. The other groups in the concert were Opus Q, Out on a Clef, SDK, and the Silicon Valley Gay Men's Chorus. Again this was another collaborative effort by all of the singers and we all had fun together and the time spent with these singers helped strengthened the bonds we had developed in the past. Also this was a benefit concert in support of the Center for AIDS Services, Oakland, Lighthouse Community Center, Hayward, Pacific Center for Human Growth, Berkeley, and Rainbow Community Center, Concord. This was the first time we had shared a stage with Silicon Valley Gay Men's Chorus and SDK. SDK was the newest ensemble in this concert having been formed in spring 2000. They were a male trio and performed an eclectic mix of pop, jazz, folk and showtunes. Thaddeus was also their accompanist. This was also the last time we were led by Michael Carlsen as our director.
Let Music Live! On this concert, we were guests of Opus Q in their first ever Peace Concert. This was held on December 8 and 9 at the University Lutheran Chapel in Berkeley. The director of Opus Q was Jerry "J.R." Foust and also our newest director, so this was our first performance with him. We sang just two pieces, "The Long Day Closes" and "Shir L'Shalom." So this was the beginning of a new journey with a new director. J. R.'s musical hero was Leonard Bernstein so we were sure to be singing his music in the future.
Home for the Holidays. We were guests of San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus on their annual holiday show at the Castro Theatre, which is held every Christmas Eve, December 24, with three performances. This concert is SFGMC's gift to the community for all people who may not have had a home to go back to for Christmas with their families because they were gay. It was fun to sing our set and with SFGMC in this concert which always concludes with everyone singing "Home for the Holidays" and singing to a full house of people who really appreciated what we all were doing.