Greetings to all my faithful readers. I hope you are well and having a great week. This week I am writing about what the chorus was up to in the first half of 1983. As I mentioned last week our founding director, Robin Kay, stepped down so we had some decisions to make about our future and one thing was to find a new permanent director so a search committee was formed and the word was put out about our need. In the meantime, soprano Sherrin Lloyd stepped up to be our interim director and she sent a letter on January 5 to the chorus. This was in part a welcome to the Spring Concert Season for us and our first rehearsal with Sherrin would be on January 12. She stated the need for new singers and she asked for help in recruiting new voices. She wrote that an audition would be scheduled for each new singer after they attend one rehearsal.
Our Chamber Chorus will have a new director in the person of Robert Erickson who also the conductor of the Men's Chorus Chamber Chorus. Vocal Minority is continuing under the able guidance of Bill Ganz and there were openings for tenors and basses. The chorus would be celebrating their third birthday on January 29 at Sutter's Mill. Sherrin ended her letter by saying that the chorus had been a healing place for her and she was feeling whole and wanted to share with the chorus all the she had to give.
At this point in the history of the corner for each section there was an administrative section leader and a musical section leader. On February 6 we performed at the Cable Car Awards held at the Japan Center Theatre and we received an award for our participation in the 1982 "Now Sing with Hearts Aglow" concert.
Also at this time the GALA Choruses organization was still in its beginning stages. As I mentioned last week there was a one day Choral Festival featuring the 11 west coast choruses in that concert. In April we learned that tapes of this concert would be available. A member of Portland Gay Men's Chorus would be reproducing these tapes. Do any members of the chorus at that time have any idea where our copy might be, Linda, Tim or Leslie?
In 1983 there was a C.O.A.S.T. (Come Out and Sing Together) concert scheduled for September in New York City. Our Linda Rohde attended a mid-term conference in Denver to meet with representatives from 12 choruses discussed and worked on articles of incorporation, bylaws and a statement of purpose.
There was much discussion in the Leadsheet throughout 1983 about our participation in the Festival in NYC, who would be able to go and if we would have a well balanced chorus to perform there. After all was said and done we did go and sang during that weekend.
Our first concert with Sherrin conducting us was called "Soundwaves" and was held on May 21 at Trinity Episcopal Church and on May 22 at Ollie's in Oakland. We opened the first half of the concert with highlights from "Annie," then followed by "The Eyes of All Wait Upon Thee" by Jean Berger. Then the Chamber Chorus performed three pieces, "Round About" by John Bennet, an English folk song "One May Morning" and finished with "Sing Me a Song" by Orazio Vecchi. Then the full chorus song took the audience on "A Sentimental Journey Thru the 40's." Vocal Minority was next singing "In the Mood," "The Rose" and a medley of songs from "Fame" which also featured two dancers.
The second half was a bit more serious as the chorus performed "Gloria" by Antonio Vivaldi. For this first concert with Sherrin we were at 65 strong which was a good sign that we would continue and thrive.
Our next performance was in the Fifth Annual Gay Musical Celebration. This was held on June 24 at the Warfield Theatre with two shows at 7 pm and 10 pm. Unfortunately I do not have a program for this concert so I don't know what we sang. I attached photos of the art for these two concerts so enjoy.
Next week I will be writing about what happened with the chorus in the second half of 1983 and the search for a permanent director.
With much love to all, Michael Lucero