Greetings to all of my loyal readers. I hope you all made it through the wild night of thunder and lightning last night. I hope you have power from PG&E back on. For the next few weeks I want to write about the Music and Art of LGCSF beginning with my memories of our first CD "Together in Harmony" under the direction of our Artistic Director Pat Parr taken from concerts in 1992 and 1993, a recording session in 1992 and released in 1994. I have included photos of the front and back covers of the CD and one of the chorus from the booklet. At this point there were 107 of us in the chorus. Yolanda and I are the only ones still singing with LGCSF. We also had an Assistant Conductor, Marty Stoddard, who composed the music along with lyrics by member Leslie Steere, "Love Song." Dwight Okamura, our wonderful accompanist, composed "Three Songs on Texts by Marguerite Radclyffe-Hall" - "At the Shrine of Aphrodite", "Hands and Lips", and "Take Me With You When You Fly".
Pat wrote in the liner notes, "Together in Harmony is the first recording released by the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco. It is also among the first recordings released by a mixed group of Lesbians and Gay Men in the United States - perhaps the world! The music of this recording is as diverse as the membership of the chorus: from Brahms to Jule Styne, from ballads to joyously rhythmic exclamations. We are especially proud that five of the pieces were written specifically for LGCSF and another of the pieces - "Survivors" - was premiered at our 1993 Pride Concert. It is one of our goals to encourage and perform new music written by and for members of our community, and through this recording we hope to bring some of this music to a broader audience for their appreciation and enjoyment.
"The recordings were garnered from digitally mastered tapes of three concerts and a recording session, so the keen listener may hear some differences in the acoustics of the halls - as well as an occasional cough or baby's cry. I wish to thank our recording engineer Keith Sklower for his consistent patience with me during this process. I also wish to thank Stan Hill and Justin Taylor of the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus and Cathy Roma of MUSE: Cincinnati's Women's Choir for their encouragement and knowledge so freely given."
There are five songs from our "Classics of Nature" concert which was on October 23, 1992, in Oakland's First Unitarian Church. These were three by Johannes Brahms, and two by Lloyd Pfautch. From our "Fantasies" concert in March, 1993 there is "Never Never Land". From the "Lesbian & Gay Composers" concert in October, 1993 is "I am Here" by our own Michael McDonald and Marty Cormier. Our recording session was in fall of 1993 in the rehearsal hall of First Unitarian Church, SF. It was kind of a nerve wracking experience since we sang each song or parts of a song over and over to get them right. And we had to keep quiet between each recording segment but we got through it and I will be sending our my iTunes playlist to you later on Chorus Connection. Take care of yourselves and each other and I am always sending my love. In harmony, Michael Lucero