Hello to all of my faithful readers. This week and for the next few editions of the History Corner I thought I would write about some of our traditions. One of the first traditions that I was aware of were birthdays and birthday parties. It seemed in the early years of the chorus, we would have a party at the drop of a hat and of course we celebrated the birthdays of our singers. They ranged from simple affairs to big extravaganzas.
Of course we had to have a big party to celebrate the tenth birthday of the chorus. This was held on January 27, 1990, at the Jon Sims Center for the Performing Arts, which was also the home of the SF Band Foundation. Preparations for the party were under way in December as we sent out invitations to our present singers as well as to our alumni. In 1990 we had no social media so we reached out by telephone, letters, our Leadsheet printed on paper, and the word did get out to everyone.
There was dancing, cabaret, and a talent show featuring acts from our wonderful retreat shows. This was hosted by our fabulous MCs Jill Tallmer, Bill Ward and Robert (Babs) Kirsch. There was also memorabilia, a no-host bar and food. The sopranos were in charge of popcorn, chips and dips, pretzels; the altos had the sweets covered; the tenors brought nuts and fruits (naturally) and the basses brought veggies and dips.
From the Leadsheet that went out there was a call for posters, bananas, or other items from old sets. Yours truly and my husband, Phil Hernandez, were in charge of these items. Jesse Kane would be putting together a concert highlight tape and video. There were also displays of photos and programs so we could relive our past glories from our first ten years.
I have included a few photos taken at the party. The black and white photo is of Robin Kay, who was our first Artistic Director. The others are of the chorus who were attending as well as a photo of Mary Cantrell and Marjorie Sheffield performing in the talent show.
I would surely love to see us have a party like this to celebrate our 40 years of making music, memories and friends. Let's start thinking about this - Membership Committee and Board - and anyone else who is good at organizing something like this. As I continue to go through the historic chorus material I received from Kim Hargreaves there will be more to come about the traditions and community we have built.
Next week who knows what I will write about but it will be something great.
Love and harmony, Michael Lucero
Hello to all my faithful readers. This week I am writing about the last concert conducted by William Sauerland entitled "HERE I AM: Living Authentically" which was held at MCC on May 6 and 7, 2017. Billy asked the chorus and friends to write something that would embody his vision of living authentically for this concert and what had inspired them in their lives to live authentically. Eight people responded to this request, six of our singers and two friends of the chorus. The first person to share his thoughts was Lynn Jordan, a member of MCC and a friend of the chorus. This was called "Yes, I am Still Here in Body and in Spirit! Why Do You Ask?" and the chorus sang "I Sing Out" with Pax and Van on the solos. Next Dale Danley talked about "My Father" and the chorus sang "Come Travel With Me." Then Dr. Mark Higgins talked about his experience among the early doctors and caregivers to persons with AIDS and the chorus sang "Be the Hero" with solos by Dale and Asher.
Hello to all of you wonderful singers and faithful readers. This week I am writing about Ménage. They were a jazz and pop octet that were formed by our AD Pat Parr in October 1986. They became ambassadors for the chorus and performed at many events and benefits in small venues. They were an auditioned group and spent a lot of time with each other in their own rehearsals and retreats with Pat.