Afterglow, a Castro Cabaret, Cafe du Nord, February 22 & 23. This cabaret was an opportunity for the chorus to showcase for the community some of the individual talents that make up the world's oldest (and finest) lesbian/gay choral ensemble. Our special guests were Opus Q, which our director, J. R. Foust, also conducts. The show started of course with "Cabaret." There was music from Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim and "Beauty School Dropout" from Grease. The full chorus ended the show with "My Funny Valentine" and "A Handful of Keys."
The Promise of Living, St. Francis Lutheran Church, March 23 & 24. This concert featured music by some of our country's most prolific composers - Copland, Bernstein, Barber, Waller and Sondheim. Again our guests in this concert was Opus Q. This was challenging and educational for the chorus to learn this important music from these great composers. Also St. Francis Lutheran was our rehearsal space and would be for the next several years.
The 24th Annual Pride Concert: You're a Grand Old Flag, Everett Middle School, June 28. This Pride concert was the first time we shared production with the SFGMC. It was also the first time that the concert was an official event of San Francisco GLBT Pride. Our emcees for the evening were Sharon Gless and Sir Ian McKellen. This concert was also a reunion of sorts - the two choruses and the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, started in 1978, 1979 and 1980 as the brainchildren of Jon Sims. His vision was to bring something from the gay community to the mainstream, promoting tolerance and awareness of LGBT life. The music performed was by John Williams, Aaron Copland, Rodgers and Hart, George M. Cohan. This was also the first time that we sang "Harriet Tubman." This was the final performance with J. R. Foust as he stepped down as director.
Full Moon Full of Love, Cafe du Nord, September 21. This cabaret was our first show under the direction of our new Artistic Director, and former accompanist, Stephanie Lynne Smith. Our new accompanist was Vincent Peterson. Joining us for this cabaret were the Emperor Berlin, Empress Sheba!, Empress Chablis, and Coley Grundman. This was a fundraiser with the money going to our Australia contingent who will be singing at the Gay Games in Sydney, Australia.
Bay Area LGBT Choral Festival and Singin' for Our Supper, MCC, October 5. This festival was co-hosted by SFGMC and LGCSF. This was a wonderful day long event that brought together participants from the following choral organizations: Golden Gate Men's Chorus, Lesbian and Gay Chorus of Santa Cruz, LGCSF, Let's Do It!, Oakland East Bay Gay Men's Chorus, Opus Q, Sacramento Men's Chorus, Sacramento Women's Chorus, MCC of San Francisco Morning Choir and their Worship & Praise Choir, Silicon Valley Gay Men's Chorus, Rainbow Women's Chorus (San Jose), SFGMC, Transcendence Gospel Choir, VOICES: Bay Area Lesbian Choral Ensemble, Voices for Diversity, Silicon Valley's Community Pride Chorus. We all had a great time getting to know all these wonderful singers and learning many things that would be helpful to all the choruses and their singers. The day ended with a concert, Singin' for Our Supper, featuring all the singers and a Festival Chorus, who sang "The Promise of the Future" by Gustav Holst, and "Watch Me Shine" by Richard Link. "Watch Me Shine" was composed for the 2002 Gay Games and will be sung by members of Bay Area choruses at the Games in November, 2002, in honor of the 20th Anniversary of the Gay Games.
Fall Concert 2002, St. Francis Lutheran Church, October 18 & 19. This was our first full concert under the artistic direction of Stephanie Lynne Smith. This concert was short and sweet as we only sang eight songs which ended with a song that was our trademark, "Somewhere" from West Side Story. Again the chorus is on a new journey with a new director and we all look forward to what she will bring to us. I was on the Artistic Advisory Committee at this time so it was a great chance to work with Stephanie.
Home for the Holidays, Castro Theatre, December 24. This was the 13th annual version of this show and our second time as guests of SFGMC at their annual gift to the community. It is always a good thing when the two choruses can sing and perform together. This was lots of fun and of course the audiences loved everything about the show.
2001 - Holding Court at the Palace, 23rd Pride, Building a World Together, Let Music Live!, Home for the Holidays
In keeping with our traditions of free concerts, in the spring of 2001 we traveled to Colma Cemetery on March 4 to take part in annual pre-burial wake of the Widow Norton, the First Empress of San Francisco. On March 17, we would again sing at the AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park for the Grove volunteers and caretakers and visitors.
Holding Court at the Palace. This concert was held at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in the afternoon of February 11. It was an eclectic mix of choral works, small ensemble pieces and solos. I think that this was the first time we performed "How Can I Keep From Singing?" Other music we sang was "You and the Night and the Music" with Joan Goldman as soloist. We also sang "If I Loved You" from Carousel, "Of Crows and Clusters," a piece by Wolfgang Mozart called "Non So Piu Cosa Son" and we ended the concert singing "With One Voice." Stephanie Smith, who had filled in as accompanist at the GALA Festival was now our full time accompanist.
23rd Annual Pride Concert. This Pride concert was held in June at the First Congregational Church, SF. Our guests for this were the Lesbian & Gay Freedom Band, the Oakland East Bay Gay Men's Chorus, Opus Q and the Lollipop Guild of SFGMC. This was another wonderful collaboration with these great Bay Area singers and musicians. The music we all shared with our audience was as diverse as the five groups performing. At the time, Opus Q was the new kid on the block as they had formed earlier in 2001. Oakland East Bay Gay Men's Chorus was formed in the fall of 1999 by Dick Kramer and their accompanist on this concert was our own Thaddeus Pinkston.
Building a World Together. On this concert, we were guests of the Oakland East Bay Gay Men's Chorus in their Second Anniversary Pride Concert. It was held on September 8 at the First Congregational Church in Oakland. The other groups in the concert were Opus Q, Out on a Clef, SDK, and the Silicon Valley Gay Men's Chorus. Again this was another collaborative effort by all of the singers and we all had fun together and the time spent with these singers helped strengthened the bonds we had developed in the past. Also this was a benefit concert in support of the Center for AIDS Services, Oakland, Lighthouse Community Center, Hayward, Pacific Center for Human Growth, Berkeley, and Rainbow Community Center, Concord. This was the first time we had shared a stage with Silicon Valley Gay Men's Chorus and SDK. SDK was the newest ensemble in this concert having been formed in spring 2000. They were a male trio and performed an eclectic mix of pop, jazz, folk and showtunes. Thaddeus was also their accompanist. This was also the last time we were led by Michael Carlsen as our director.
Let Music Live! On this concert, we were guests of Opus Q in their first ever Peace Concert. This was held on December 8 and 9 at the University Lutheran Chapel in Berkeley. The director of Opus Q was Jerry "J.R." Foust and also our newest director, so this was our first performance with him. We sang just two pieces, "The Long Day Closes" and "Shir L'Shalom." So this was the beginning of a new journey with a new director. J. R.'s musical hero was Leonard Bernstein so we were sure to be singing his music in the future.
Home for the Holidays. We were guests of San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus on their annual holiday show at the Castro Theatre, which is held every Christmas Eve, December 24, with three performances. This concert is SFGMC's gift to the community for all people who may not have had a home to go back to for Christmas with their families because they were gay. It was fun to sing our set and with SFGMC in this concert which always concludes with everyone singing "Home for the Holidays" and singing to a full house of people who really appreciated what we all were doing.
Before I get to telling you about the concerts we were a part of in 2000, I want to write about a couple of community events that we were participated in. In March, we sang as part of the entertainment at the Academy of Friends Oscars gala. We were all in our best glamorous dresses and suits and tuxes and after we sang got to stay and watch the Oscars. In April, on a Saturday morning, we took part in a clean up day at the AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park and sang for the crowd who showed up for this event. We also took part in the Pride Parade with the folks from the Best of Broadway and the musical Titanic. One last thing - we released our second CD "Wish You Were Here", a collection of live recordings with Michael Carlson. And we
Mission: ImPOPSible! This concert was held in late April at Mission High School. This was the kickoff concert for our 20th Anniversary season. The first concert of the chorus on May 17, 1980, was held in Mission High School. The music was some of the best 20th Century pop, rock and musical theatre. The concert ended with three big anthems, "A Chorus of Lovers and Friends," "With One Voice," " and "You Are The Light."
22nd Annual Pride Celebration. This concert was another one in which we invited some of our LGBT performing ensembles to join with us in song and celebration. This was held on June 17 at First Unitarian Church. The groups who our guests this night were Out on a Clef which our accompanist, June Bonacich, sings baritone. We performed June's "The Second Harvest" as part of our set. Also the SFGMC sang a preview of "Exile" which was written for them by Robert Seeley. Rounding out the lineup was the SF Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band.
Across the Ponds. The theme for this concert was diversity in style and content and yet it was all wonderful and funny and stirring music by lesbians and gay men. The show was held on July 20 at First Unitarian Church. Our guests were VOICES: Lesbian Choral Ensemble and Schola Canotrosa, Gay Men's Chorus of Hamburg, Germany. Our chorus hosted the men from Hamburg so we got to know them. This concert was a preview of what these three choruses would be singing in San Jose at GALA Festival VI. Let me tell you about Schola Cantorosa. All of their shows are fully staged, costumed with makeup, choreographed - in other words they just like to have fun and make wonderful music as well. Their show on this night was "Dressed to Kill." From their program "Will those Divas ever learn to make their exits? Do they know that their lives are just one big intrigue? Have they ever met their ballet troupe rivals? ...and if, God forbid, something horrible should happen to them ... This question must be asked! Who will be the new Diva??? Needless to say they brought down the house.
GALA Choruses Festival VI. The chorus trekked down to San Jose to participate in and perform in this GALA Festival. Our future director, Stephanie Smith, filled in as accompanist for the chorus. One of the pieces we did was something new - "Give Me the Splendid Silent Sun." I remember there was some conflict since our director signed extra musicians for this without consulting the board. Oops. Anyway, we persevered.
Our former director, Trente Morant, was commissioned to write music for the TTBB Festival Chorus. This was obviously quite an honor for him and for the chorus. The piece was called "Ache3" and is described as a mini musical triptych. The first movement, "Look Into the Mirror," talks about accepting and feeling comfortable with yourself, and having fun while making improvements. The second movement, "Live All Your Joys," reminds us that time is a luxury so treasure the good stuff. The last movement, "Look Ahead," reminds us not to carry excess baggage. Give honor to the past and learn. Be conscious of the present, and move toward the future.
There were 110 choruses with 4,000 singers there for the week of July 22 to 29. Each chorus performed twice, once in the Civic Auditorium and again in the Center for Performing Arts. It seems at every Festival there is a chorus that everyone talks about and wants to hear. This time the chorus to hear was Lavender Light: The Black and People of All Colors Lesbian and Gay Choral Choir. They were amazing, awe-inspiring, moving, and everyone in the audience was on their feet the whole time and we were all exhausted after their performance. This is what GALA Festivals are all about - to hear choruses you might not hear again, to hear new and exciting music by lesbian and gay composers, to come together with singers and make connections. A GALA audience is the best to perform to because they know what it takes to get up on stage and sing.
First I would just like to share some memories of my time since I joined the chorus in 1984 and the artistic directors I have sung with up until 1999 when we got another new AD, Michael Carlson. The first AD I sang with was Matt O'Grady, a young Irishman who was a very friendly and gregarious person and he wanted to learn about his family's roots in Ireland. Next was Rodger Pettyjohn in 1985. His background in music was avant garde musicians like John Cage. He was involved with the Society of Lesbian and Gay Composers so we learned some new music from this group of musicians. Next was Pat Parr in 1987 and for the next ten years he led us through big changes, big production concerts and concerts featuring music by women composers and lesbian and gay composers. Pat and his husband, David Thompson, are now living the good life in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Next was Trente Morant, who brought us music with lots of rhythm as well as teaching us about music and musicians from the Harlem Renaissance. In the fall of 1998, we had an interim director, Bill Ganz, who taught us that we should not be afraid of classical music. And now to 1999.
Michael Carlson brought his youthful energy and a commitment to new music to the chorus. He had studied with masters of choral conducting: Robert Shaw, Rodney Eichenberger and Jo-Michael Schiebe. Our accompanist during this season was June Bonacich, now a member of our Board of Directors.
21st Annual Pride Concert: A Family Album. This Pride concert was certainly a family album of six Bay Area musical groups. The concert was held on June 22 at the Herbst Theatre. The concert featured Voices, the East Bay Lesbian Ensemble, Out on a Clef, the Bearatones, the GAPA Chorus, S.F. Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band and LGCSF. This was another wonderful evening of sharing great music and laughter and being together, and giving our audience some wonderful music. The highlight for me was sing Make Our Garden Grow from Candide by Leonard Bernstein. This song really stretched our musical muscles. We ended our set with I Open My Heart by the wonderful friend of the chorus, Sky Evergreen. The chorus had an out of town retreat in Guerneville at the Triple R Resort and we sang a mini set for the people there as a warmup for Pride.
Love Notes! This concert was held on October 23 and 24 at the First Unitarian Church in San Francisco. Our special guests on this concert was the Golden Gate Men's Chorus. As Michael wrote in the program that it is our own love of music that brings us together and is also the beginning of the Chorus' new commitment to the development and performance of music suited to our tradition. We are very proud to bring you an excerpt of lesbian and composer June Bonacich's "The Second Harvest", as well as to share Kirke Meechem's "Island in Space." This concert was a great time for us to work with and to get to know the Golden Gate Men's Chorus and their director, Joseph Jennings.
A Winter Choral Celebration. This concert was held on December 10 at MCC and our special guests on this concert were the Singers of the Metropolitan Community Church. The music for this concert was partly classical Christmas music and music by gay composers Ned Rorem and Aaron Copland. We also sang a couple of light hearted songs by P. D. Q. Bach - "O Little Town of Hackensack" and "Throw the Yule Log On, Uncle John." Then we sang June's wonderful new music "The Second Harvest" and closed with our favorite "I Open My Heart."
1998 - Another Year of Change: Spice It Up!, 20th Annual Pride Concert and Classical Music for Cowards
I would like to say that as I have been taking this trip down memory lane for myself and my time in the chorus various memories come back to me that are important for me to share with you. First is that sometime in the late 1980s, Michael Clarke, one of our tenors, did most of the paperwork and research to get the tax exempt status that the chorus has enjoyed since that time. Michael also gave the chorus a generous monetary gift as part of his estate. And he was also a wonderful human being and I was glad to have sung with him.
Next if you can remember back to April, 1992. That was when the Rodney King riots were happening as the result of the verdict in the trial of the LA police officers who had beaten Rodney King. The riots in San Francisco were on the Thursday night before our Five Nights of Madness concerts when we were having our dress rehearsal. After the rehearsal was over, we accompanied each other to our cars just to make sure we were all safe. The concert scheduled for May 1 was cancelled as a precaution for us and our audience. Needless to say when we gathered on May 2 to perform our show, we had a sold out audience and we sang and danced our hearts out. That was a very emotional performance for all of us after all that had happened and we were able to give our audience an enjoyable concert and to make their hearts a little lighter.
Spice it Up! This concert was held on March 13 and 14 at the Cowell Theatre at Fort Mason. Our director, Trente Morant, gave us a wide variety of music to give to our audience. There was everything from the Gershwins to Sweet Honey in the Rock to our friend Sky Evergreen and music and arrangements by Trente. We had some special guests - Jill Togawa of Purple Moon Dance Project, Jackeline Rago of Crosspulse and Jonnie Pekelny. It was a challenge for us to learn and memorize this music but in the end we had fun and our audience did too - they were up and dancing.
20th Annual Pride Concert: High on Pride - 20 Years of Singing Proud. This Pride concert was held on June 26 at First Unitarian Church of SF. Our special guests were Qwire, Canberra, Australia's Gay and Lesbian Chorus, the SFGMC and the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band. Jose Sarria, the Widow Norton, First Empress of San Francisco, was the MC for the concert. This concert was special because we had the opportunity to spend time with the singers from Canberra before the concert. It was also special since this was Trente's last concert with us. He had to step down due to health reasons. The last song we sang in this concert was a song composed by Trente called Take Off and he and we did.
Classical Music for Cowards. This concert was conducted by our Interim Director Bill Ganz, who had worked with the chorus in various ways in the past. This was held on November 6 and 7 at MCC. Our special guest for this program was the Oberon Quartet who played Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 as the overture to the concert. We sang music by Handel, Schubert, Faure, Puccini, P. D. Q. Bach, Gilbert & Sullivan and Hail Holy Queen from Sister Act. Again this music was challenging to learn but we did and we all gained a new appreciation for this music and we learned not to be afraid of classical music.
The year 1997 was another year of change for the chorus. Our Artistic Director, Pat Parr, stepped down after the Pride concert after ten years directing this chorus. We all learned from Pat a lot of music, musical styles, we learned about ourselves through dealing with good times and bad times within the chorus. We all grew, we all changed, but the spirit of this chorus was there and is still here.
Our new Artistic Director was Trente Morant. He was the first African American director for the chorus. We were on to a new journey with Trente and we continued our learning about the chorus and about ourselves.
Carmina Burana. It had always been a dream of Pat's to conduct the chorus in a concert of Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. This concert was produced in conjunction with the Peninsula Ballet Theatre. This was another unique way to broaden our audience with our chorus and the audience of Peninsula Ballet Theatre. We did two shows, March 8 at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre and on March 9 at the Smithwick Theatre in Los Altos, CA. We also collaborated with Ragazzi, the Peninsula Boys CHorus and our soloists were Patty Wolf and Roderick Gomez. This was truly a beautiful production with the ballet company and the two choruses and soloists.
19th Annual Pride Concert: One Concert, Many Voices . This concert was held on June 27 at the Center for the Arts Theatre at Yerba Buena Gardens. This concert was Pat's last one leading the chorus. It was also a concert to remember the life of Sky Evergreen. Sky was a local jazz pianist, playing with Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, Linda Hopkins, Jules Broussard and his own trio. In the 1980s he became a fixture on the local cabaret scene. Sky was also a songwriter and arranger and the chorus sang four songs arranged by Sky - Lover Come Back to Me, For All We know, How Long Has This Been Going On and It Don't Mean a Thing. Also on this evening was a Lifetime Commitment Ceremony of two of our biggest supporters, John Dobson and R. Guy McGinnis. State Assemblywoman Carole Migden officiated. Remember this was way before gay marriage.
Our guests on this Pride concert were Lisa Gray as host, SFGMC, San Francisco Winds of Freedom, Equal Voices, and the South Coast Chorale from Long Beach, CA. All in all this quite a fitting tribute to Pat Parr and Sky Evergreen.
Love Is In The Air.This was the first concert with our new Artistic Director, Trente Morant. This was held at MCC on November 14 and 15. Here is just a bit of Trente's resume - at the time he was also the Artistic Director of the Oakland Youth Chorus. He also toured the country for five years as Performer-Lecturer specializing in music from the Harlem Renaissance. Needless to say we learned a lot of new things from the start, including rhythm and a new style. This concert featured music from a wide spectrum of composers - George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers, Stephen Sondheim and our own Sky Evergreen.
18th Annual Pride Concert. This Pride concert took place on June 28 at Herbst Theatre. It was hosted by Donna Sachet, Empress XXX, and now one of the hosts for the TV broadcast of the San Francisco Pride Parade. The concert featured us with our guest artists SFGMC, San Francisco Winds of Freedom, VOICES: Bar Area Lesbian Choral Ensemble and we had pre-show entertainment by Equal Voices, a one year old chorus directed by a former member of LGCSF, Rick Weaver. We started the show with a Sweet Sixteen Birthday Fantasy featuring Donna Sachet to mark our 16th season. This was another great concert of cooperation with the other performing groups singing and playing wonderful music and the kickoff to Pride Weekend 1996.
GALA Festival V. This GALA Festival was held in Tampa, Florida, in July and saw an explosion in the growth of the event with 82 choruses performing during the week and the format of the Festival continuing to evolve.
Opera Grand & Not So Grand. This concert was presented on November 1 & 2 at MCC Eureka Street. Our special guests for this concert were Jose Sarria - The Widow Norton, the Derivative Duo from Seattle, and Ms. Patty Wolfe. This was a concert of favorite opera choruses from many well known operas, such as Lucia di Lammermoor, Nabucco, Carmen, Cavalleria Rusticana, La Traviata, Il Trovatore and Die Fledermaus. It was fun and also challenging to learn this wonderful music of all the great composers.
Sing-Along Sound of Music. Did you always want to be Maria? Captain Von Trapp? The Mother Superior? The Baroness? The Lonely Goatherd? Well now is your chance to dress up, "Climb Every Mountain" and win a prize for your efforts. We presented this show on December 5 at MCC and of course we were dressed as our favorite person from the movie. Lots of fun for us and our audience. The hills were alive with the Sound of Music on that night.
A Tribute to the Music of Elton John. This was our chorus' way to celebrate the music of one of our gay heroes, Elton John. We presented this on March 22 and 23 at the Cowell Theatre at Fort Mason. Our rehearsals leading up to the concert were a lot of fun learning the songs of Elton and putting our twist on them. At our retreat we spent time working on costumes, including decorating our own outsize glasses. This was kind of our first multimedia concert. As background for the medley of Friends and Your Song were photos of the chorus at the retreat. During Candle in the Wind were projected various images of Marilyn Monroe. The beginning of Act II featured our wonderful accompanist, Dwight Okamura, playing Funeral for a Friend. This was another concert that was great fun for us and for our audiences.
First I would like to let you know about one of our outreach programs that LGCSF took part in on several occasions. Members of the chorus would accompany Jose Sarria, the self-proclaimed Widow Norton, to Cypress Lawn Cemetery to visit the grave of Emperor Norton. Jose Sarria had always been one of the biggest supporters of LGCSF. This "pilgrimage to Colma" took place annually on the Sunday morning following the coronation of the newly elected Empress and Emperor of San Francisco. LGCSF and the Freedom Band would perform at this event, and it was always a hoot being with the drag queens who made up the courts of several cities from around the country. Although Jose Sarria died in 2013, and LGCSF has not always been present for the Sunday morning event, the Annual Cemetery Pilgrimage continues, and the next one is scheduled for February 25, 2018. See the Imperial Council's events page for information.
Back to 1995: In our 15th season brochure, our Artistic Director Pat Parr wrote "as the oldest continuing mixed gay chorus in the world, we continue to celebrate the life, energy, and strength of our community in our commitment to all our endeavors: our concerts, charitable fund-raisers, outreach programs, and performances at many San Francisco events." Following is what we presented in 1995:
A Grand Night for Singing. The 100th birthdays of Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II was the occasion for this fully staged and choreographed production. We sang songs like Blue Moon, Where or When, I Wish I Were in Late Again, and music from South Pacific, Carousel, The King and I and Oklahoma. We had two performances in March at the Cowell Theatre at Fort Mason and a special benefit performance in April for the Genard AIDS Foundation at the Hofman Theatre in Walnut Creek.
The 17th Annual Pride Concert. On June 16 at the Herbst Theatre, we presented the Annual Pride Concert. Our guests were the Lesbian and Gay Chorus of Washington, DC, San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, and the San Francisco Winds of Freedom. Our emcee was a local gay comedian, Danny Williams (1952-2014; see Bay Area Reporter obituary). This was another wonderful evening of sharing the stage with great singers and musicians, especially the women and men of the mixed lesbian and gay chorus of Washington, D.C. (which apparently stopped operating in 2010). It was fun to spend time with them prior to the concert at rehearsal and socially.
Music by Women Composers. As part of our mission to present music by women composers, we presented two concerts in November, one in Oakland and the second in San Francisco. We sang music by, among others, Libby Larsen, Alice Parker, Ysaye M. Barnwell, Holly Near and Naomi Judd. This was the first concert we produced that featured orchestral accompaniment, and it was a wonderful two evenings of beautiful and exciting music.
You will see that 1994 was another busy year for the chorus. Our first concert, It's About Love!, was held March 25 and 26 at the Cowell Theatre at Fort Mason. We sang songs about Family, Friends and Lovers which included a medley constructed by Pat Parr called "I'm Over You Now So Get Lost." We had lots of fun with this concert with our costumes, makeup and choreography.
This was also the year of our first recording on CD and cassette tape (you do remember tapes) called "Together in Harmony." We actually recorded it the past November 1993 and it also included live recordings of music from past concerts.
Next for us was a trip on April 16 to Seattle to sing with the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Chorus and Vancouver Lesbian and Gay Choir in a show called "Boys & Girls with Stories." What a great time we had meeting and performing with these two choruses. All three choruses opened the concert with "We Are Everywhere." Then we sang a selection of songs from It's About Love! For the second half the Seattle chorus sang Boys & Girls With Stories.
Next was the 16th Annual Pride Concert held June 17 at Center for the Arts Theatre at Yerba Buena Gardens. Our guests for this were SFGMC and our friends from Seattle, the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Chorus. This year also marked Gay Games IV and Stonewall 25. What a history we all share.
Next for us was a special night. We were asked to sing at the 13th Annual PFLAG International Conference called Bridges to Equality.
Our final concert of the year was It's About Music! an evening of Classical Choral Music held on October 21 at First Congregational Church of Oakland and October 22 at Trinity Episcopal Church, SF. Among the music we sang was the Hymn to St. Cecilia by Benjamin Britten, Gloria by Francis Poulenc and Alleluia by Randall Thompson. What glorious music we sang and our audience loved us.
Our first concert of 1993 was FANTASIES: FAIRY TALES CAN COME TRUE. It was held on March 5 & 6 at Cowell Theatre at Fort Mason. This concert came about as a gathering of ideas from members of the chorus and matching these ideas with appropriate music, rehearsing, staging and choreography and putting it together with lights, scenery, and a band. The first act was based on childhood fantasies and the second was about more adult fantasies. With help from the Lamplighters Music Theatre, we were able to have our scenery and we had the wonderful Gregg Tallman as stage director and Gene Russo as choreographer. The concert began with Be Our Guest and ended with Make Our Garden Grow (from the operetta "Candide" by Leonard Bernstein). All the music was memorized and with all of our hard work this was a great success. Our out of town retreat for this concert was a hoot.
Next for us was the 15TH ANNUAL PRIDE CONCERT held on June 25 at the Herbst Theatre. Sharing the stage with us were SFGMC, Winds of Freedom, VOICES: Bay Area Lesbian Choral Ensemble and the Rhythm Method. Our hosts were the beautiful Gail Wilson and the always fabulous Jose Sarria, the Widow Norton, First Empress of San Francisco.
Our fall concert, LESBIAN & GAY COMPOSERS, was held at the First Unitarian Church of San Francisco. It has always been part of the mission of the chorus to feature and promote the music of lesbian and gay composers. Several of the pieces we performed in this concert were written by members of the chorus. It was a pleasure and honor to sing these pieces and give them to our audience.
Our sassy octet, Menage, presented their holiday show called HOLIDAY ISSUES on December 11 at the Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco, on Eureka Street in the Castro. All in all this was another good year for us and our audiences.
joined the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco in August of 1984, after seeing them sing in the Pride Concert the previous June and their director, Matt O'Grady, announced that if anyone in the audience wanted to join the chorus that auditions would be coming up so he joined. During his time in the chorus he has always sang in the bass section. He has served as Music Librarian, on the Production Committee, the Artistic Advisory Committee, as a bass section leader, as the GALA liaison and currently as chorus historian. He is glad to create this blog for the chorus to get the history out to anyone who looks at our website.