Hello and greetings to all of my faithful readers out there. I hope you are all doing well, staying safe, sane and healthy. It is so wonderful to have a President who has an actual plan to put concrete actions into place to tackle the coronavirus and that these decisions are based on science and the facts.
This week I thought I would write about some of the awards and certificates that the Chorus received throughout the years. From the 1970s through the 1990s there were two separate organizations that awarded prizes for excellence in the gay community - the Cable Car Awards with their overall theme of Outstanding - and for excellence in live performance - the San Francisco/Bay Area Gold Awards presented by the San Francisco Council on Entertainment. Any awards given from these organizations were very prestigious.
The Cable Car Awards started in 1974 by Bob Cramer and he always included on stage and in the audience leaders in the political arena joining with entertainers, journalists, athletes, artists, photographers and civic minded persons to celebrate our community. The Chorus and its subgroups, Menage and Fiddlestix, were all nominated in 1989 and 1990. The Chorus won in 1989 for Outstanding Concert for our LGCSF Goes to the Movies. In 1990, Fiddlestix were nominated for Outstanding Performing Group, as were Menage, and as was the Chorus for Outstanding Concert "The Critics' Award". In 1990, the Chorus was awarded a Cable Car Award for the 1989 Lesbian/Gay Freedom Day Parade Outstanding Performing Group. In 1992, the Chorus was awarded the Bob Cramer Award for Excellence.
The San Francisco/Bay Area Gold Awards were started in 1978 by a man by the name of Jack Essex and a group of his friends who mapped out the first Gold Awards to honor cabaret performers, singers, pianists, comedians and the cabarets and the jazz and comedy clubs where they were able to perform. In 1988, Menage was nominated for Outstanding Musical Group. Menage was also nominated in 1989 as well as our own Scott Johnston for Outstanding Male Cabaret/Nightclub Vocalist. So as you can see back in the good old days of live entertainment in San Francisco the Chorus was well represented.
As far as certificates that the Chorus has received in the past, I want to mention two certificates we received in 2005. These were both Certificates of Honor from the City and County of San Francisco and signed by then Mayor Gavin Newsom. The first was awarded on January 20, 2005, and recognized and honored the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco on the occasion of its 25th Anniversary. Founded in 1980 by John Sims as the world's first gay and lesbian choral ensemble, the chorus has entertained audiences throughout the Bay Area and across the world.
The second was awarded on May 7, 2005, and it recognized and honored the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco for 25 years of building and enriching our communities with music. Your voices are helping to transcend the barriers of race and sexuality and unite individuals from all walks of life. Congratulations!
I want to give a shout out to one of our alumni who joined us last Thursday on Zoom, my good friend Jesse Lanou who now lives in Oregon. She was the first to respond to my outreach on Facebook to join us this season and I hope we will hear and see other alumni in the future. One of the memories I have of Jesse is when my partner, Philip, and I helped Jesse backstage at one of the Cable Car Awards shows. It was a long day of work but also a lot of fun and we got to interact with the presenters and the performers.
One last thing before I sign off for this week. There is something a little different that I would like to do for a future History Corner, or maybe two of them. That would be to request any backstage photos that any of you have and that I could use and put captions with the photos as a visual glimpse of what we have done. Please upload your pictures to Dropbox or to my email which is in Chorus Connection. I look forward to seeing your photos. Take care of yourselves this week and see you on Zoom on Thursday.
In love and harmony, Michael Lucero