37th Annual Pride Concert, Part of the Panama-Pacific Centennial Celebration, Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, June 20, 2015.
This Pride concert was a major achievement for our chorus and the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band as this was part of the year long City-wide celebration of the Centennial of the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition (PPIE). This was the Worlds Fair of 1915 and ran from February 20 through December 4. Besides the concert taking place, there was a book talk by Laura Ackley called "San Francisco's Jewel City: The Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915." There was also a world premiere screening of filmmaker R. Christian Anderson's documentary "When the World Came to San Francisco."
As the two artistic directors, William and Pete Nowlen, said in the program, "It is our honor to welcome to the historic Palace of Fine Arts for our Panama-Pacific Centennial Concert. It is with great joy we are able to contribute to the year-long, city-wide centennial events produced by the California Historical Society.
"The PPIE was celebrated with hundreds of concerts, highlighting music from a wide range of genres. Some of the greatest composers of the day - including Amy Beach, Victor Herbert, Camille Saint-Saens and John Philip Sousa - were prominent figures at the exposition."
As co-producers of this event, the Chorus and Band were joined onstage by the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony, Camerata California and students from Chabot College.
The concert began with the Band playing the "Panama Pacific March" by Harry L. Alford. Next all singers performed the "Panama Hymn" by Amy Beach. Next the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony (BARS) played the modern premiere of "A Day at the Panama Pacific Exposition" by Mayhew L. Lake. Then the singers along with BARS performed "Inscriptions" by John Karl Hirten. Mr. Hirten was in the audience and was acknowledged by us. Then the Band performed the "Panama-Pacific Expo March" by Al Pinard. The first half finished with the "Organ Symphony" by Camille Saint-Saens.
The second half began with BARS performing "Hail! California", which was also composed by Saint-Saens. Next all singers and BARS performed "Gallia" by Charles Gounod. Next the Band played "San Fran Pan American March" by Joel P. Corin which was followed by "Until We Meet Again" by Victor Herbert. Next all singers, the Band and BARS performed "1915 - San Francisco" by S. and P. I. Jacoby. The Band next played "The Pathfinder of Panama March" by John Philip Sousa and the concert and evening ended with everyone and the audience singing "San Francisco."
"San Francisco, open your golden gate, you let no stranger wait outside your door
San Francisco, here is your wanderin' one saying I'll wander no more.
Other places only make me love you best, tell me you're the heart of all the golden west
San Francisco, welcome me home again, I'm coming home to go roaming no more."
This was a long day for all of us who performed in this wonderful event but it was worth all of the work that went into this event and the audience was with us throughout the whole day.
Next time will be all about Autumn Mood Swings.
Cheers to all of you, Michael Lucero
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.