Role Playing, March 1, Cafe du Nord. This was the start of the first full year for our new director, Stephanie Smith. In time she would be known affectionately as "Miss Smith." Our accompanist and assistant director was Vincent Peterson. This show was a cabaret evening for the chorus to showcase the talents of our singers. We were 38 strong as we began this year and we had great fun with this show.
Honor Our Heroes: 8th Annual HIV Prevention Awards, April, Ruby Skye. This was an outreach event for us and the chorus was honored to be part of the entertainment at this event. This evening was to honor four persons from the community who had done outstanding work in HIV/AIDS prevention. This was fun and easy for us and a way for us to be in front of a new audience. Alan Cumming was the honorary chair for this evening and Connie Champagne, Spencer Day and the Kent Strand Trio were the other performers that night.
Hope: Spring Concert, May 10 & 11, First Unitarian Church. These concerts took place on Mothers Day weekend and in the program Stephanie thanked all the mothers who were there to support their children. She also said "It is our hope that the music today will uplift, inspire, and offer you some comfort in these unsettling times." We sang "Dona Nobis Pacem," some South African freedom songs, John Lennon's "Imagine" in which our Yolanda DeByle sang the solo, "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and "How Can I Keep From Singing." Yes the music did uplift and inspire us and hopefully our audiences as well.
The 25th Annual Pride Concert, June 27, Mission High School. Last week I mentioned that the Pride concert was coproduced by both us and SFGMC after all the previous years where we were the sole producer. This Pride concert was the first one produced solely by SFGMC. This concert featured us, SFGMC with director Kathleen McGuire and the SF Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band with Jadine Louie as director. Just think, at this point these three organizations were all led by three strong women.
The Band was started in 1978 with their first concert in 1978 of that year. Later the San Francisco Gay Mens Chorus was founded and following the assassinations of Harvey Milk and George Moscone they sang for the first time that night on the steps of City Hall. In January 1980 our chorus was formed and tonight these three historic organizations celebrated this quarter century of music making and making change. The big musical piece we all sang that evening was "Oliver Button Is A Star!" and this was the San Francisco premiere. The final three songs for the evening we all sang together were "Don't Laugh At Me," "Everything Possible," and "Land of the Free." What a great way it was to begin Pride Weekend.
Night Falls Singing, December 6, First Unitarian Church. This concert came about as a way to celebrate the spirit of the deep winter moonglow to represent the changing of the seasons and our lives. We sang two times this day, at 3 pm and at 8 pm. As we began our own birthday season, we embarked on a journey and looked ahead. We started the night with Brahms "In Stiller Nacht," and there was music by Samuel Barber, Randall Thompson, "Stardust" by Hoagy Carmichael, "Turn the World Around," by Harry Belafonte and we closed with "The Long Day Closes" by Arthur Sullivan.
Home for the Holidays, December 24, Castro Theatre. Again we were the guests of SFGMC in their annual concert at the Castro which is their gift to the community. We sang at the 9 pm show that night. Also is there something going on between Stephanie and Kathleen, director of SFGMC? Hmm.
joined the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco in August of 1984, after seeing them sing in the Pride Concert the previous June and their director, Matt O'Grady, announced that if anyone in the audience wanted to join the chorus that auditions would be coming up so he joined. During his time in the chorus he has always sang in the bass section. He has served as Music Librarian, on the Production Committee, the Artistic Advisory Committee, as a bass section leader, as the GALA liaison and currently as chorus historian. He is glad to create this blog for the chorus to get the history out to anyone who looks at our website.