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.
Next Birgit Eschmann talked about her music teacher in Germany and how she was inspired by this teacher and the chorus sang ABBA's "Dancing Queen." Next Yolanda sang one of her twisted parodies based on "The Ballad of Jed Clampett." Then another friend of the chorus, Clare Ramsaran, read her piece "A Mixed Experience" and the chorus sang "In This Very Room." Next our very own poet, David Hathwell, read one of his poems from "Muses" and he and Ellen soloed on "I Am the River".
Next Martha Merchant shared her thoughts on "Not a Lesbian" and the chorus sang "Here's Where I Stand" with solos by Eliza Speece and Joan Estep. Then long time member, Linda Rodriguey, talked about her experience when she first joined the chorus in 1997 called "A Change of Heart" and the chorus sang "How Can I Keep from Singing". The chorus sang the final three pieces of the program, ""Would You Harbor Me?", "Turn the World Around", and one of our favorites, John Lennon's "Imagine".
Billy quoted Leonard Bernstein in his notes what Leonard said about music. "This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before" which I believe is needed more than ever today. He also quoted his favorite, Julie Andrews, about the end of his journey with us, "It's time now to go, for everything must end, but I'll see you soon, I know, knowing time is our friend." Billy thanked the chorus past and present, the Board of Directors, Paul McCurdy, and his husband, Tom, for going with him on this journey. He also encouraged the audience to sing, to sing in a choir, to lift their voices in song and to give to our community.
Some of the chorus sang with Billy one more time on May 12 as guests of the Chabot College Choir of which Billy was the director.
Next week I will be writing about more of our past history that I have learned about from the archives that I was given by Kim Hargreaves. See you then.
Love and harmony, Michael Lucero
Additional notes from Pax Ahimsa Gethen:
I re-joined LGCSF for this concert after a three-year absence, which I blogged about at that time.
At the conclusion of the May 7 performance, we surprised Billy by serenading him with "So Long, Farewell" from The Sound of Music, customized with lyrics written for the occasion.